EU-Morocco fisheries talks still deadlocked
Negotiations for a new EU-Morocco fisheries agreement were still deadlocked Tuesday, after a meeting in Brussels failed to make progress, the European Commission said. No date was fixed for a new round of talks, but EU fisheries ministers were to take stock of the negotiations and decide the way forward when they meet on Thursday and Friday, the Commission said.
"To reach an agreement, the two sides must show some flexibility in order to arrive at a balanced solution," EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler, who also handles fisheries issues, said in the statement.
But while the European Union believes it has shown willingness to compromise, Fischler said: "I am disappointed that these efforts do not appear to have been reciprocated on the Moroccan side."
The European Union and Morocco have been trying to hammer out a new fisheries agreement since Rabat refused in November 1999 to renew the previous pact that allowed EU fishing boats, mainly Spanish, to work Moroccan waters.
This week's EU fisheries meeting will also discuss a European Commission proposal for dramatic cuts in fishing quotas to save dwindling stocks of hake, cod and whiting, notably in the North Sea. — (AFP, Brussels)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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