First Published: 2016-12-21

EU's top court deals blow to Polisario over EU-Morocco trade deal
EU Court of Justice overturns decision lower tribunal's decision to quash European trade deal with Morocco.
Middle East Online

Major win for Morocco

BRUSSELS - The EU's top court on Wednesday overturned a lower tribunal's decision to quash a European trade deal with Morocco, ruling against a group seeking independence for the Western Sahara.

Morocco suspended links with Brussels early this year after the General Court of the EU, the bloc's second highest court, annulled the deal on the grounds that it illegally applied to the Western Sahara, which faces an independence fight from the Polisario Front.

But in its verdict, the EU Court of Justice said it "dismisses the action for annulment brought by the Polisario Front against the Council's decision to conclude the Liberalisation Agreement."

The European Council, which groups the 28 member states, appears set to go ahead to reinstate the trade agreement, though the court did not explicitly say so.

The Polisario Front, a group which seeks independence for the Western Sahara, had challenged the 2012 trade deal. The EU in turn appealed against the decision to overturn the pact.

Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony now controlled by Morocco.

The top court ruled: "Having concluded that the Liberalisation Agreement does not apply to the territory of Western Sahara, the Court sets aside the judgement of the General Court."

 

Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt

Qatar sets temporary minimum wage for migrant workers

Top US official begins Sudan trip

Hamas says Israeli assassins in Tunisia used Bosnian passports

Syria army enters last IS-held town

France worried by Iran's 'hegemonic' intentions

Russia, Turkey, Iran to hold Syria summit

Saudi FM rejects accusations Hariri in Saudi Arabia against his will

Lebanon’s president awaits Hariri return before next move

Iran pushing for Hamas-Hezbollah reconciliation

French PM in Rabat to boost trade, cooperation