Western Sahara: Natural Resources

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st July 2016.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will call for an end to the extraction of natural resources from Western Sahara through agreements that disregard the interests and wishes of the indigenous Saharawi people.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

UK policy on commercial activity in Western Sahara is clear and longstanding and follows the legal opinion sought by the UN in 2002: that such activity is not in itself in violation of international legal principles unless it proceeds without respect to the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara. We continue to urge any commercial entity considering investing in Western Sahara to follow this advice and seek their own legal advice.

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