Upper House Adopts Two Draft Bills Establishing Morocco's Legal Competence over Its Entire Maritime Domain

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Upper House Adopts Two Draft Bills Establishing Morocco's Legal Competence over Its Entire Maritime Domain
The House of Advisors (upper house) unanimously adopted, Tuesday at a plenary session, two draft bills aimed at establishing legal competence of the Kingdom over its entire maritime domain.

These are bill 37.17 amending and completing the Dahir establishing Law 1.73.211 of Moharrem 26, 1393 (March 2, 1973) setting the limit of territorial waters, as well as bill 38.17 amending and completing Law 1.81 establishing an exclusive economic zone.

Speaking on this occasion, minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita, underlined the importance of the two texts in the context of the updating of the national legal instruments relating to the kingdom’s maritime boundaries.

The elaboration of the two projects are part of the implementation of the royal vision in the area, he said, adding that the activation of the legislative procedure takes place following the royal speech delivered on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the Green March, in which the Sovereign stressed the need to assimilate the configuration of the entire territorial space of the Kingdom.

These high royal instructions challenge us to address the legislative gap which marks the national legal arsenal governing maritime areas, and to adapt the later to the full sovereignty of Morocco over its entire territory and territorial waters, as well as its air space, in line with the clear and the bold approach sought by HM King Mohammed VI, he said.

The elaboration of these two texts is also motivated by the willingness of conforming national laws with some international commitments and deadlines, he said, citing in this regard harmonization with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) and the repeal of certain provisions.

The delimitation of national maritime spaces is an internal matter and an act of sovereignty, he said, noting that this is, at the same time, an issue of international concern which could be subject to negotiations between the Kingdom and neighboring countries.

Morocco will defend its rights, respect its commitments, remain open to the national positions of neighboring friendly countries and their legitimate rights and will be ready for a constructive dialogue to achieve fair compromises on the basis of mutual interest, the minister concluded.

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