Reconciliation at the price of concessions between Spain and Morocco


“We must build mutual respect. Swallow the snake if necessary. » Spanish socialist MEP Juan Fernandez Lopez Aguilar could hardly have summed up the position Madrid has taken in recent months on Rabat in a bid to restore relations between Spain and Morocco.The former minister was referring to a resolution voted by the European Parliament on January 19 urging “Moroccan authorities respect freedom of expression and media” and worries “Allegations of attempts by Moroccan authorities to bribe elected members of the European Parliament”. The text outraged Rabat and was rejected by representatives of the far right and … Spanish Socialism after revelations involving Morocco and Qatar.

Also read: ‘No crisis in Rabat’, Paris pledges

In Madrid, Pedro Sanchez, head of the Spanish government, explained in Madrid on January 24 that the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) did not share ” some elements of the text. “In the face of a powerful enemy, don’t confuse prudence with cowardice. That’s not how you end bullying.” he Aitor Esteban, spokesman for the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV, moderate right), retorted.Pedro Sanchez insists “Optimal relations with Morocco are of strategic importance for Spain and the EU”. he No doubt for him, on the eve of the high-level meeting on Wednesday 1Uh Thursday, February 2, in Rabat, described as“history” by the government.

It has been eight years since Morocco and Spain held a joint summit, marking a serious crisis in relations between the two countries. Brahim Ghali, leader of the Saharan independence movement of the Frente POLISARIO, who was welcomed and hospitalized in Spain with Covid-19 at the request of Algiers in April 2021, was nervous The situation reached its peak. In response to what it considered an insult, Morocco at least did not object to the illegal entry of more than 10,000 citizens, including hundreds of minors, into the Spanish enclave..

“Risk Bet”

Eleven months after Spain overturned its traditional neutral position in its former colony of Western Sahara, two residents of the Strait of Gibraltar are expected to hold reconciliation meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in Rabat. In a March 2022 letter to King Mohammed VI, Pedro Sanchez did describe the Moroccan plan as“autonomy” Western Sahara from “Serious, realistic and credible”. All Spanish parties except PSOE condemned the decision, including their coalition partners. By the way, the government angered Algeria, the main supporter of the Frente POLISARIO. Algiers recalled its ambassador and cut off trade ties with Spain, with the exception of gas exports, which account for a quarter of Spain’s consumption and have renegotiated sharp price increases.

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