Breaking Moroccan-EU fishing deadlock
European Union Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler will visit Morocco on January 3 to try to break a deadlock in negotiations over fishing rights in Moroccan waters, it was announced Thursday.
Talks between Rabat and Brussels broke down in November 1999 over an accord allowing mainly Portuguese and Spanish boats to fish in Moroccan waters.
The two are unable to agree on how long the new accord should apply ¯ Morocco wants a two-year deal, while the EU is holding out for a four- to five-year commitment. So far all attempts to reach a compromise have failed.
At a technical meeting on December 22 some progress was reported. An EU commission spokesman said there had been "positive" movement in the Moroccan position and expressed confidence that an accord could be achieved. ¯ (AFP, Brussels)
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