EU, Spanish officials welcome positive development of Morocco-Spain relations

EU, Spanish officials welcome positive development of Morocco-Spain relations

The European Union (EU) welcomed, Monday, the positive development of relations between Morocco and Spain, saying this development is “beneficial for the implementation of the Euro-Moroccan partnership as a whole”.

“The European Union welcomes any positive development between its member states and Morocco in their bilateral relations, which can only be beneficial for the implementation of the Euro-Moroccan partnership as a whole,” EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali told MAP.

Regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue, the spokeswoman recalled the EU’s position expressed in the joint statement with Morocco in June 2019 reiterating its “support for the efforts of the UN Secretary General to pursue the political process aimed at achieving a just, realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara issue.”

“Any solution must be based on compromise in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, in particular Resolution 2602 of 29 October 2021,” said the spokeswoman, insisting that “it is important to preserve the stability of the region.

It should be noted that the European position is aligned with that of the UN which favors pragmatism, realism, sustainability and the spirit of compromise.

It thus enshrines the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative as the most credible, realistic and viable solution to the artificial regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.

A number of Spanish officials, MPs and personalities have hailed Madrid’s support to the Autonomy Plan for the Sahara as a positive decision and a “step forward” to normalize bilateral relations and build a future on solid foundations and trust.

In this vein, Spanish Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Luis Planas said Monday the re-establishment of trustworthy relations with Morocco, is an “excellent news” and a “fundamental pledge” for Spain.

“The relations of trust with our neighbor Morocco, with which we have friendly ties and strategic relations, must be preserved,” stressed Planas, former Spanish ambassador to Morocco, in a statement to Spanish national radio RNE.

The result of the position of Spain vis-à-vis the Sahara issue is “very important” in view of the stakes uniting the two countries, noted Planas.

The restoration of relations of trust is “excellent news on all levels”, he said, adding that it is “a fundamental and very important pledge” for Spain, and that relations with Morocco “are and must be a state policy.”

The Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, on his part stressed that “the stability and prosperity of Spain and Morocco are intimately linked”.

“Today, we begin a new phase of relations with Morocco and close definitively a crisis with a strategic partner,” said the head of Spanish diplomacy at a press conference in Barcelona Friday.

This new stage will be based on “mutual respect, respect for agreements, the absence of unilateral actions and transparency and permanent communication,” he stressed.

“This new stage will be developed (…) on a clear and ambitious roadmap to ensure the stability and sovereignty, territorial integrity and prosperity of our countries,” he said.

Minister of the Spanish Presidency, Felix Bolanos, said Spain, by recognizing the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative as “the most serious, realistic and credible basis” for the Sahara issue settlement, wants to engage with Morocco in a “stable and good” relationship.

“The world needs cooperation between countries and to work together on common problems,” said Bolanos in statements to the press, assuring that the new position of his country on the Moroccan Sahara is part of this logic.

By opening a new page in their bilateral relationship, Spain and Morocco are committed to consolidating a “stable and good” cooperation, he stressed.

Several other Spanish politicians, including former MPs Juan Vicente Pérez Aras and José Maria Chiquillo described the decision made by the coalition government as “important and positive” and a step forward towards exploring all areas of cooperation with a “friend, neighbor and a strategic and historical partner for Spain”.

The position of the Spanish government is in line with the support expressed by world powers such as the United States, Germany and France, which have stressed the relevance of the Moroccan autonomy proposal as “serious and credible” to resolve this dispute, they said.

Pérez Aras explained that this decision is opening the horizon to “unblock the situation of the Sahara in favor of Morocco”, exposes the maneuvers of Algeria, which is once again isolated on the international scene, and reflects, at the same time, the “wise management” of Moroccan diplomacy of the crisis between the two kingdoms.

Morocco has managed to convince its partners of the soundness of its proposal and won the diplomatic bet, he noted.

The preservation of good relations with Morocco is “a fundamental pledge” for Spain, said José Maria Chiquillo.

With the normalization of bilateral relations, Spain and Morocco, two “regional powers”, strengthen their position on the international scene to make the Mediterranean a haven of peace and prosperity, he said.

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