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US-Western Sahara Foundation Welcomes ECJ Decision; Reaffirms Right to Self Determination

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Washington, DC, Dec 24, 2016 (SPS) - The US-Western Sahara Foundation heartily welcomes the European Court of Justice's recent ruling on the European Union's trade deal with Morocco and calls for the United Nations to follow through on the long promised referendum.
"This ruling express in the most clear terms that Morocco has no sovereignty over the territory of the Western Sahara," said US-Western Sahara Foundation president Suzanne Scholte.  "The decision is also identical to the United States as expressed during the signing of the US-Moroccan free trade agreement which excluded the Western Sahara on the grounds that the United States does not recognize the Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara."
"Furthermore, it is to be strongly noted that the European Court reaffirmed the October 16, 1975 ruling by the International Court of Justice that supported the right of self-determination for the Sahrawi people and denied Morocco any sovereignty over the territory," Scholte said.  "The ruling sends a clear message to Morocco, that despite 41 years of occupation of the territory and despite all its propaganda and the millions of dollars it has spent to lobby the international community, the fact remains: this is an illegal occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco."
"The ECJ ruling also sends a message to all those involved with Morocco in exploiting the natural resources of Western Sahara you are thieves guilty of stealing from the indigenous people of Western Sahara."
"This ruling rallies all of us internationally who have supported and admired the Sahrawi people.  We admire their peaceful resistance relying on the rule of law to achieve justice.  Now, we call upon the United Nations to fulfill their promise for a free, fair and transparent referendum on self determination," Scholte stated.
The US Western Sahara Foundation was formed in 1999 by Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), the Defense Forum Foundation and hundreds of American citizens from many walks of life and diverse political views to raise awareness of the Western Sahara issue and promote self determination for the people of Western Sahara. (SPS)