Morocco votes to 'reconsider' ties with European Union

© AFP

Moroccan lawmakers on Monday voted unanimously to review ties with the European Parliament, accusing it of meddling after a resolution that urged the kingdom to respect press freedom.

Members of both houses of Morocco’s parliament met in the capital Rabat for a joint session in response to the non-binding European text adopted on Thursday.

In a statement after their session, the Moroccan legislators called the European resolution “an unacceptable attack against the sovereignty, dignity and independence of judicial institutions in the kingdom.”

They said it had “seriously harmed the fundamental trust” between them.

As a result, Morocco’s Parliament “decided to reconsider its relations with the European Parliament and submit them for an overall evaluation,” said Rachid Talbi Alami, speaker of the House of Representatives. He gave no further details.

Under a 1996 agreement, Morocco and the European Union have been linked in tight economic and commercial relations, particularly in agriculture and fishing.

“Their decisions are not going to intimidate us, and we are not going to change our path and approach,” said Mohammed Ghiat, president of the National Rally of Independents, the biggest party in Morocco’s ruling coalition.

European lawmakers in Strasbourg had urged Morocco to “respect freedom of expression and media freedom” and to “guarantee imprisoned journalists… a fair trial”.

The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) watchdog welcomed the EU parliament vote as a break with “25 years of passivity”.

(AFP)


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