Spain refuses to host again ailing Polisario Chief, avoiding new crisis with Rabat
Spain has refused to host again Polisario Chief Brahim Ghali who is suffering from cancer to avoid a new crisis with Rabat.
According to several press reports, the head of the polisario-armed militia has been airlifted from the Ain Naadja military hospital in Algiers to Cuba, where he was admitted to intensive care following the deterioration of his health.
The Algerian authorities, which arm, fund and shelter the Polisario separatist group, remain silent over the secret transfer of Ghali to Cuba.
Suffering from cancer of the digestive system, the polisario chief, 73, was flown to the communist country in a medicalized jet of the Algerian presidency after Spain refused to host again the fugitive wanted by justice, to avoid a new diplomatic spat with Rabat.
On April 18, 2021, Brahim Ghali was secretly admitted to a hospital in northern Spain with an Algerian diplomatic passport bearing a false name. Madrid had then agreed to treat Ghali as a favor to Algeria, its main supplier of natural gas.
However, his presence under a disguised identity didn’t go unnoticed to the Moroccan government which protested against Madrid’s decision to host the thug, saying such a move is contrary to the spirit of neighborliness and mutual trust.
Tension between Morocco and Spain heightened, leading to unprecedented diplomatic crisis between the two neighboring countries, with Morocco recalling its ambassador for consultation.
Nearly five months later, tension between the two countries started easing off following the remarks made by King Mohammed VI in a speech marking the 68th Anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People on August 20.
In this speech, the Monarch spoke about Moroccan-Spanish relations, saying the countries are about to “usher in a new, unprecedented phase in the relations based on trust, transparency, mutual respect and the fulfillment of obligations”.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez welcomed the Moroccan Sovereign’s stand as “a great opportunity to redefine relations between the two countries”.
According to press reports, the Moroccan ambassador is returning to Madrid in the coming few days and the Spanish Prime Minister is preparing to visit Morocco in the next few weeks, following the end of the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
The Spanish PM’s visit will officially turn the page of the crisis between Morocco and Spain, and enhance relations between the two countries, the Spanish media commented.
The high-level meeting between the two governments, which was postponed due to the crisis, is also expected to take place soon.