PM Sanchez defends Spain’s support for Morocco’s autonomy plan at parliament

PM Sanchez defends Spain’s support for Morocco’s autonomy plan at parliament

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez defended before Spanish Mps the new position of his country in support of Morocco’s autonomy plan as « The most serious, realistic and credible » basis for settling the artificial dispute around the Sahara territory.

Sanchez had sent a letter to King Mohammed VI on March 18 voicing the same position and expressing willingness to improve relations with Morocco in a spirit of transparency and good will.

He told MPs that the Spanish Sahara move was the result of the country’s willingness to contribute « actively » to settling the conflict that lasted for 50 years.


“The decision we have taken on the Sahara is a further step on the path that began 14 years ago when the Spanish government welcomed the autonomy plan presented by Morocco as a valuable contribution to the solution of a deadlocked conflict,” he pointed out.


The new positin comes after the opening of « window of opportunity » to relaunch negotiations after the nomination of Staffan de Mistura a personal envoy for the UN Secretary General.


After many years of conflict and status quo in the negotiation process, the Spanish government considers that the autonomy proposed by Morocco is the basis on which there are more possibilities to build a solution to the Sahara issue, stressed Sanchez, noting that his country “logically recognizes the efforts made by Morocco in this direction.”


He said Spain’s support for the autonomy initiative, first introduced by Morocco in 2007, comes after similar positions by France and the US and recently Germany.


Moreover, all the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council since 2007 have welcomed the autonomy plan and the “serious and credible efforts” made by Morocco, he underlined.


In his address to the Congress of Deputies, Pedro Sanchez made it clear that relations with Morocco, a ”neighbor and strategic partner”, are an “affair of State that requires a State policy.”


”The government is firmly committed to opening a new stage in relations between the two countries, with a clear and ambitious roadmap,” Sanchez stressed.


Morocco is “a neighbor and an indispensable strategic partner…Throughout history, the two countries have established human ties, agreements and relationships that have forged common interests.


Most of Africa and the Arab world backs Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and the autonomy plan and the most recent country to express support for Morocco’s territorial integrity was Israel.

Thanks to the new Spanish position in support of neighbourliness with Morocco, Rabat returned its ambassador to Madrid and a visit will take place on April 1 by Spanish foreign minister to be followed by a visit by Sanchez later.

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