After weeks of silence, Algeria finally addressed the elephant in the room. The eastern neighbors have publicly commented on their new rapprochement with Spain, which features the appointment of a new ambassador to Madrid, after a 17-month informal break.
“There is a change in Spain’s position on the Western Sahara issue,” Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf said on Al Jazeera’s Asir Platform.
“The speech of the Spanish head of government at the United Nations General Assembly gave us permission to review our relationship with Spain,” he said. “Spain is thus once again aligned with the European position. This is what we have always called for,” the senior diplomat said.
For the record, within the EU, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, and other Central European countries all support the idea of Moroccan autonomy.
Ahmed Ataf said he believed there was “a real change” on the part of the Spanish government on an issue that is very important to us. We must not forget that Spain is the country that colonized Western Sahara and therefore has a responsibility towards Western Sahara,” he asserted. He recalled that he “did not accept” Pedro Sánchez’s support for Morocco’s Western Sahara autonomy plan.
Algeria FM’s explanation is similar to that relayed by the media after Pedro Sánchez’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September. “He renounced his support for Morocco’s ‘autonomy plan.'” Sánchez gave up on the Makhzen. It was a real slap in the face to the Moroccan regime,” wrote the Algerian daily Les Expressions. “Western Sahara: Pedro Sanchez turns against Makhzen,” another Algerian media reported.
In September 2022, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stated that “Spain is beginning to readopt European decisions on the Western Sahara issue.”
A few weeks after these headlines, Pedro Sánchez announced that, much to the dismay of Polisario and Algeria, he could revise his support for Morocco’s Western Sahara autonomy plan through government agreements with Semar, Catalonia and Basque separatist groups. denied sex.
This was followed by a statement from Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Álvarez in Rabat on 14 December. “Spain’s position on the Sahara issue has not changed. “This is the same as what was expressed in the
In fact, the joint declaration issued at the end of the talks between King Mohammed VI and Pedro Sánchez states: “Spain believes that the Moroccan autonomy initiative presented in 2007 is the most serious and realistic approach to resolving this conflict.” We believe that this is a reliable foundation.” .
Algeria sought to restore relations with Spain by the Popular Party-led government, especially since the Popular Party leader had repeatedly condemned in public Pedro Sánchez’s support for Moroccan autonomy plans in the Sahara. I was betting that it would be born. .