Court rules EU-Morocco fishing pact can't include W Sahara

The European Union's top court says a fisheries agreement the bloc has concluded with Morocco can't include the waters off the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that the "Moroccan fishing zone" referred to in the pact "does not include the waters adjacent to the territory of Western Sahara."

Morocco considers the vast, mineral-rich Western Sahara its "southern provinces" and rejects anything considered a threat to its territorial integrity. The territory's status is one of the most sensitive topics in the North African kingdom.

But the ECJ said Western Sahara isn't part of Morocco, so its waters aren't part of the EU-Morocco agreement.

The court said including those waters would contravene some "general international law" such as the right to self-determination.