Western Sahara: Natural Resources

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd April 2018.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Moroccan counterpart on the extraction of natural resources from occupied Western Sahara.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We do not consider that Western Sahara is occupied; we consider that its status is undetermined. We look to all parties in Western Sahara, including businesses, to conduct their activities in accordance with international law, respecting the interests of the people of Western Sahara. I discussed with the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mr Nasser Bourita, in January the UK's desire for a lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the dispute over Western Sahara that provides for the self-determination of the people of the territory.

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