Morocco expressly thanks Sánchez for his change of position on the Sahara

Morocco expressly thanks Sánchez for his change of position on the Sahara

Morocco and Spain shake hands again this Thursday in a high-level meeting eight years and several diplomatic crises later. The summit was preceded this Wednesday by a business forum from both countries and is described by the Spanish Executive as a “historical event” as it marks the culmination of the path undertaken by the Government almost a year ago in search of a rapprochement with the neighboring country.

🎙PODCASTS | Spain – Morocco: swallowing toads from a toxic neighbor


With a controversial swerve to the historic Spanish position regarding the Sahara, the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, sided with Morocco, accepting its autonomy proposal. A step that the Alaouite regime expressly thanked the Chief Executive this Wednesday, making it clear that it was that step and not another that made it possible to face a “new phase” in coexistence today.

“Relations have entered a new phase thanks to the support for the autonomy plan for the Sahara. It seems to us a historical and realistic vision that we value, ”said the Moroccan Prime Minister, Aziz Ajanouch, in front of the Spanish president during his speech at the economic forum. Ajanouch came to speak of “ups and downs” in relations between the two countries that he attributed to “misunderstandings.” “But we always find solutions for such crises, because history has shown that we are stronger together,” he said.

For the Spanish Government, the conflict in the Sahara continues to be a thorny issue that it prefers not to delve into. Unlike his counterpart, Sánchez made no mention of the matter during his words. And questioned by the reflection of the Moroccan prime minister, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they limited themselves to avoiding the answer. “Spain and Morocco have understood that we have to be able to talk about all the issues that concern us,” they came out from the apartment of José Manuel Albares, without offering further details. In terms of internal politics, the alignment with Morocco over the Sahara continues to have costs for the Executive.

The coalition partners of Unidas Podemos openly criticize this shift in Sánchez’s foreign policy and have had the opportunity to stage this rejection with the absence of their ministers at the summit. Of the eleven who landed this Wednesday in Rabat, all of them belong to the socialist wing of the Government, something that La Moncloa tries to minimize political relevance by indicating that “the entire Executive” is represented at the meeting.

In the environment of the president they prefer to focus on the strategic weight that the signing of up to 25 agreements will have for Spain during the high-level meeting. “There are four times more than those signed eight years ago, and never before had Spain participated with such a high number of ministers,” sources from the Executive stress. In Foreign Affairs, they assure that the meeting represents a “success” for Spanish foreign policy and extol that the path chosen in its day to turn the page on the clashes with Morocco is already giving results in the form of migratory control (69% less flow, according to the Albares department) and in the level of exports, which reaches the figure of 10,000 million.

Focused almost exclusively on the economic content on which the forum was concerned, Pedro Sánchez promised in his speech to “deepen even more in this eagerness to share between two countries that we share so much”. Before an audience full of Spanish business representatives and after the president’s public criticism in recent weeks of large companies that add record profits without raising wages, Sánchez wanted to wink at businessmen by referring to the “legitimate pride that the Government of Spain feels for the determined commitment of Spanish companies in Morocco, authentic ambassadors of a dynamic and modern commitment”. The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, who did not attend the last meeting where the increase in the minimum wage was agreed, which he has criticized, had excused his absence for medical reasons.

Sánchez will not meet Mohamed VI

Just before the President of the Government spoke at the economic forum in Rabat, Moncloa announced that Pedro Sánchez had held a half-hour telephone conversation with the King of Morocco to “continue promoting the relationship between Morocco and Spain”. In that same note it was pointed out that the president had accepted the invitation for an upcoming meeting with Mohamed VI, who these days will not receive Sánchez because he is outside the country.

The gesture was quickly described by the PP as a “noneo”. The deputy secretary for institutional action of the popular, Esteban González Pons, asked himself on his social networks: “How did the Government agree to attend the summit in Morocco without being assured that the king would receive the president? This type of diplomatic ninguneos is paid with a resignation. Macron would never set foot in Rabat to avoid being received by the king. Those of Sánchez are making a role ”.

The Foreign Ministry, José Manuel Albares, regretted upon his arrival in Rabat the “little sense of State” of the opposition for criticizing a foreign policy “key to territories such as Ceuta, Melilla, Andalusia or the Canary Islands”, he said, referring to the immigration controls. Sources from the Presidency stress that what was planned at this summit was “a meeting between governments” and that, in any case, they are satisfied with the call. “It has lasted the same as an audience in person,” these same sources point out, downplaying the fact that a meeting with the king will not take place during the summit.

According to Foreign Affairs, and despite the fact that until the last moment it had not been ruled out that the meeting could end up being scheduled, the Spanish Government had been aware for two days that Mohamed VI would not be in the country during the high-level meeting. . For this reason, they add, a call was agreed upon. “This meeting has taken place due to the great involvement of the King of Morocco, who has had a long conversation with the president in which they have agreed to reinforce this new stage to make stronger and more solid relations that avoid any misunderstanding of past times. ”, Albares himself had an impact in Rabat.

From his department they consider it “unheard of” that the King of Morocco is so involved in an appointment of this type and they value the fact that President Sánchez is “one of the few heads of Government and State who have dined with Mohamed VI”. “No one on the face of the earth has any doubt that he has a magnificent relationship,” they add.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick