Rabat-Madrid Row: Morocco accuses Spain of Europeanizing bilateral crisis

The Spanish government is “attempting to Europeanize a bilateral crisis” between Morocco and Spain, triggered by Madrid’s decision to host Polisario chief Brahim Ghali with an Algerian passport bearing a false name, said on Wednesday Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

The Moroccan-Spanish diplomatic crisis is not over with the departure of Ghali from the Spanish territory the same way he entered, said Mr. Bourita during a press briefing held after meeting his Hungarian peer Péter Szijjártó.

“The crisis is still present because its roots continue to exist,” underlined Bourita, accusing Madrid of “trying to Europeanize it and divert it from its known causes”.

Rabat insists that the case of Ghali is no longer the heart of the problem. The crisis is that of broken trust and partnership and the violation of mutual respect.

“It is primarily a crisis of mutual trust related to an attitude that Morocco views contrary to the spirit of partnership and Spain’s inconsistency between actions and words on separatism: one cannot fight separatism at home and fomenting it at its neighbor,” Bourita stressed.

Morocco has rejected in the strongest terms Spain’s desperate attempts to Europeanize a crisis that blew up after Madrid sidelined with parties that seek to undermine the territorial unity of the North African kingdom.

After failing to address this crisis, Madrid tries to Europeanize it in a bid to divert attention from its true causes”, insisted Mr. Bourita, voicing Morocco’s satisfaction over its relationship and its multiform cooperation with the European Union.

On the issue of migration, the Moroccan minister said: “We don’t take lessons from anyone. We act as partners”, making reference to criticism voiced by some European officials after a record number of migrants entered the occupied enclave of Ceuta from a neighboring Moroccan city amid heightened tension between Madrid and Rabat.

Speaker of the House of Representatives had slammed Spanish attempts to Europeanize the crisis with Morocco as some European parliamentary groups are deliberately focusing on migration issue and pushing to put the blame on Rabat after hundreds of unaccompanied minors entered Ceuta by swimming.

King Mohammed VI has instructed Morocco’s government to facilitate the re-entry of all unaccompanied but identified Moroccan children who are in the European Union illegally.

Morocco is “satisfied with its ties with the EU,” Bourita said, noting that EU commissioners and some EU countries welcomed Morocco’s efforts to counter migration and make return of minors easy.

 

 

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