The leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, has been admitted for a few days in a Spanish hospital for reasons of Coronavirus. Could this presence of the Sahrawi leader affect Spain’s relations with Morocco?
The secretary general of the Polisario, Brahim Ghali (73), was admitted to a Spanish hospital to receive medical treatment, the Spanish government confirmed to AFP. While the Spanish authorities evoke « strictly humanitarian reasons » without giving details on the ailment from which the Sahrawi separatist leader suffers nor on the centre where he was admitted, Sahrawi sources indicate that the leader has tested positive for Covid-19 and reassure that his condition « is not worrying ».
« Brahim Ghali is in Spain to receive medical treatment … I will keep the utmost discretion on the details, » Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told AFP, reassuring that the presence of the Polisario leader in Spain « does not prevent or disrupt the excellent relations that Spain has with Morocco.
« Morocco is a privileged partner of Spain with which it has good relations in the economic, political and commercial spheres and in the fight against illegal immigration and climate change. And this will not change », added the Spanish minister. It must be said that the situation is embarrassing for Spain, whose relations with Morocco have recently been strained due to its unclear position on Western Sahara.
Since last February, the Cherifian kingdom has postponed sine die the holding of the Moroccan-Spanish bilateral summit due to a health crisis, according to official information. Other sources mention the rather tense relations between the two countries as the reason for this postponement.