The European Commission applauds the improvement of relations between Morocco and Spain. But, in what has to do with Western Sahara, the line continues to be that of support for the UN process. In other words, that the conflict in the Sahara be resolved by respecting the resolutions of the United Nations.
The PSOE denies in its internal arguments that it has changed its position regarding the Sahara
“The position of the European Union remains the same”, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, this Monday after the Foreign Affairs and Defense meeting of the 27: “It goes through full respect and support for the resolutions of the United Nations, and that any solution has to be found within the framework of these resolutions, something that the letter from the Spanish Government to Morocco also says, expresses a preference for a solution, but insists that the solution has to be found within the framework of UN resolutions. The EU says exactly, and very clearly in 2019: the solution has to come from the agreement between the parties within the framework of the United Nations resolution. This is the European position, and from what I have read in the letter sent by Spain, it does not contradict it”.
This was also expressed at a press conference by the community spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Nabila Massrali, who recalled the EU’s support “for the efforts of the UN Secretary General to continue with the political process with the aim of reaching a solution fair, realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable policy on the issue of Western Sahara”.
“Any solution must be based on compromises in accordance with the resolution of the United Nations Security Council,” added Massrali.
Last Friday, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, wrote a message to King Mohamed VI of Morocco where, among other things, it was said that Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara, presented in 2007, is “the most serious base , realistic and credible” for the resolution of the crisis, in line with the Rabat theses.
“The EU welcomes any positive development between its Member States and Morocco in their bilateral relationship, which can only be beneficial for the implementation of the Euro-Moroccan association agreement as a whole”, said Massrali.
Notice to Algeria?
Did Spain notify Algeria of the agreement with Morocco on the Sahara? The Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, has avoided answering the questions and cross-examinations after the meeting of the EU ministers in Brussels to approve the strategic compass presented by the High Representative, Josep Borrell. Algeria has called its ambassador for consultations after the announcement of the agreement between Rabat and Madrid. “We respect the decision of the Algerian Government”, Albares has settled.
Government sources, however, affirmed this weekend that Spain had previously informed the Algerian Executive about Spain’s position in relation to the Sahara agreed with Morocco, thing that Algiers denied.
“It is always a good time to reach an agreement that guarantees the territorial integrity of Spain”, argued the minister to defend a pact that angers a gas supplier, such as Algeria, at a time of energy crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine : “It is an agreement that guarantees the sovereignty of Spain, prosperity, stability, the management of irregular migratory flows, cooperation in the fight against terrorism, commercial interests.”
But did they notify their counterparts? “Communications between Spain and Morocco are exclusively bilateral communications between Spain and Morocco”. But the question was about the Algerian counterparts: “Yes, but I am telling you that on Friday there was a communication between Morocco and Spain that exclusively concerns Spain and Morocco. Look, diplomacy requires discretion.”
Albares has also wanted to align the new Spanish position emanating from the agreement with Morocco, which de facto recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara by betting on the autonomy of the former Spanish colony within the Alawi country, with that of the United Nations, which recognizes the right of self-determination or self-determination of the Saharawis: “Our support, I insist, is for the United Nations, the Charter of the United Nations, the resolutions of the Security Council and Steffan de Mistura [enviado de la ONU para la misión del Sáhara] as I had the opportunity to transfer him today [por este lunes]”.
“This is not the first time that I have met with Staffan de Mistura”, said Albares, “and I wanted to explain to him the position of Spain, which is in support of finding a mutually acceptable solution in the framework of the United Nations on the Sahara issue. Nations, of your letter, of the resolutions of the Security Council and, of course, of the mission of Staffan de Mistura, to whom I have once again reiterated our support. And I have reiterated that the Spanish Armed Forces plane with which he travels to the region has already done so on one occasion, is at his full disposal to travel as many times as he wants to wherever he deems necessary to take carry out the mission for which we support him”.