Tensions are palpable between Morocco and Spain, due to the Iberian country’s position on the Western Sahara issue and its close relations with Algeria, a staunch supporter of the Polisario Front. However, the former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, strongly questioned the position currently adopted by the Spanish leadership on the Sahara issue.
In his intervention on Capital Radio’s Atalayar programme, José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who has a perfect command of the contours of the Western Sahara file, a territory claimed by both Morocco and the Polisario Front, indicated that his successor Arancha González, is on the wrong track and must reconsider his copy. « Spain must reconsider its position on the Sahara in the new geopolitical context, after the decision of the United States to recognise the sovereignty of Morocco over its southern provinces, » said the former head of Spanish diplomacy.
For José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Spanish government has turned its back on the evolution of the international context following the American decision, stressing that Rabat and Washington have a very special relationship because the kingdom was the first country to recognise the United States. « When the world was divided in two, the great ally of the United States was Morocco, » he recalled before reiterating his fervent wish to see the Sanchez government adapt to the new context.
« The international geopolitical situation has changed and the government of Pedro Sanchez has not managed to learn the lessons of these changes, » lamented the man who led Spanish diplomacy between 2011 and 2016. Recalling the kidnapping of two Spanish aid workers and an Italian woman in a « terrorist attack » in the Tindouf camps while he was in office, José Manuel Garcia-Margallo noted the risks of creating a pseudo-state in the region.
« The current leaders must be realistic », says José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, while explaining that Morocco has regained its place in the African Union, several Arab and African countries have opened consulates in the cities of Dakhla and Laayoune, and others are considering doing so. « When circumstances change, we have to change. We have to adapt to the new context. This is a problem we have to solve, » he concluded.