Portugal pushes Greenpeace activists off U.N. Ocean Conference premises

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LISBON, June 30 (Reuters) - Portuguese police pushed Greenpeace activists off the U.N. Ocean Conference premises in Lisbon on Thursday as they tried to stage a protest in support of strong action to save the world's seas and marine life.

About 7,000 delegates were at the conference, including heads of state, scientists and NGOs, to assess progress in implementing a U.N. directive to protect marine life. French President Emmanuel Macron attended the event on Thursday.

Ten Greenpeace activists from different countries tried to place large stickers with messages such as "Killed by political inaction" and "Protect the oceans" on billboards outside the venue, but officers stopped the action and pushed them out.

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"It's shocking that while activists are trying to peacefully protest outside the conference venue, the real looters, the ocean destroyers, are out there depleting the oceans as we speak," said Greenpeace's Laura Meller.

As activists were blocked from carrying out their demonstration, a police officer told them: "It's a fair fight but not here, OK?"

Meller and other activists are urging U.N. member states to reach an agreement on a long-awaited treaty to shield open seas against environmentally hazardous exploitation beyond national jurisdictions.

Lisbon is the last major political gathering before the final treaty negotiations in August. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday the "egoism" of some nations was hampering efforts to seal a deal. read more

On Thursday, France offered to host the 2025 conference, which would be jointly organised by France and Costa Rica, according to a statement from the French presidency.

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Reporting by Catarina Demony, Miguel Pereira and Pedro Nunes in Lisbon; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Lisa Shumaker

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