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Yara denies new Western Sahara purchases

The Norwegian fertilizer firm Yara states their position remains unchanged, and that they do not purchase phosphates from Western Sahara. Yara's new agreement with Moroccan phosphate firm specifically excludes purchases from Western Sahara, according to the company.
Published: 19.12 - 2011 21:30Printer version    
13 December, Norweign fertilizer multinational Yara International ASA announced that they had entered into a joint venture agreement with the Moroccan state phosphate firm OCP.

Yara denies, however, the allegations from a Moroccan commentator that Yara is said to have entered into a contract including phosphates from the mines in Western Sahara. The Norwegian fertilizer firm stated in 2009 that they do not wish to touch Western Sahara phosphates until the conflict has been solved.

"As a large customer of phosphate on the global market, Yara is fully aware of the situation in Western Sahara. Yara maintains its position that we are following the Norwegian government’s policy on Western Sahara, and that we do not purchase phosphates from Western Sahara. This both applies to our plants in Norway and in other countries", Yara wrote in a letter to the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.

"In the global phosphates market, OCP is a substantial player, where phosphates from Western Sahara make part of its deliveries. This represents an ethical challenge for all customers in this market, including for Yara.
Yara’s answer to this challenge is that we have clearly made a stance that we shall not trade with phosphates from Western Sahara. This principle also applies to the cooperation with OCP and the new joint venture we will establish, where the agreement excludes phosphates from Western Sahara. Brazil is among the fastest growing fertilizer markets. We realise that the larger success that the joint venture between Yara and OCP will have with phosphates from Morocco, the less Western Sahara phosphates shall the market shall demand", the firm declared.




Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.

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