The European Union’s decision to cancel the agriculture and fishing agreements with Morocco is a “resounding victory for the legitimate cause of the Saharawi people,” the Algerian foreign minister said yesterday.

In an official statement, Ramtane Lamamra described the cancellation of the deals as a “historic agreement that will be followed by all the EU member states in their relations with Morocco.”

The European Court of Justice yesterday annulled an agreement on trade and a fisheries deal between the EU and Morocco from Western Sahara, citing the region’s right to self-determination.

“The agreements at issue are not intended to confer rights on the people of Western Sahara, but to impose obligations on them,” the ruling said, pointing out that the EU Council, representing member states, “did not sufficiently take into account all the relevant factors relating to the situation in Western Sahara.”

Morocco has been in conflict with the Algeria-backed separatist Polisario group over the Western Sahara since 1975, after the Spanish occupation ended. It turned into an armed confrontation that lasted until 1991 and ended with the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

Rabat insists on its right to govern the region, but proposed autonomous rule in the Western Sahara under its sovereignty, but the Polisario Front wants a referendum to let the people determine the future of the region. Algeria has been supporting the Front’s proposal and hosts refugees from the region.

READ: Algeria prepares to compete with Morocco in Africa 

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