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Morocco-Ue tensions over fruit & veg’s trade

Rabat - Moroccan Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch,has asked the European Union to “honour its commitments“ believing “unacceptable” the Brussels decision amending the conditions of access of non-EU fruit and vegetables to the European market

Rabat - Moroccan Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch, has asked the European Union to “honour its commitments“ believing “unacceptable” the Brussels decision amending the conditions of access of non-EU fruit and vegetables to the European market, approved in the month of April and that essentially imposes a restriction on the flow of goods by virtue of greater transparency.

The decision, that will enter into force from October 1, will penalize non-European fruit and vegetables: in this sense, Morocco claims to be the most affected country by the issue.

“We’ve signed an agreement in 1996 and now the European Union has decided to change rules unilaterally. This is not acceptable - says Akhannouch - . I spoke with the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Cioloş , and there will be other talks throughout the week to find a solution, and protect the interests of both parties. I think we will reach an agreement. The European Union must fulfill its commitments “ he added.

In 2013, Morocco’s agricultural exports to the EU amounted to more than EUR 1.2 billion, and the bulk of the business is represented by tomatoes (22 % of the total) . In Morocco, agriculture is the largest contributor to GDP , accounting for 15-20 % of the total.

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