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New Spanish FM Wants Strengthened Relations with Morocco

It remains to be seen whether Spain will regain Morocco’s trust with the new government reshuffle, leading to the sacking of the former FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya.

Newly appointed Spanish FM Jose Manuel Albares has emphasized his determination to work towards restoring good relations between Morocco and Spain.

ABC reported that Albares expressed his willingness to work to resolve the crisis between Spain and Morocco on Monday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The news outlet said that among the minister’s priorities is the need to “strengthen relations, especially with Morocco.”

During his statement, the Spanish FM avoided mentioning the source of the crisis between Morocco and Spain.

Spain appointed Albares last week on Saturday after announcing the sacking of Gonzalez Laya as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.

Spain stirred escalated tension in April after it allowed Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to enter its territory for hospitalization.

Ghali entered Spain with a military aircraft without undergoing customs procedure at the request of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ghali also used a fake passport and identity under the name of Mohammed Ben Battouch to enter Spain, as a result of several accusations, including rape, genocide, torture, and forced detention.

Spain and Algeria maintained his hospitalization in a Spanish hospital a secret. A few days upon his arrival, however, Morocco’s intelligence detected his presence in Spain.

Morocco commented on Spain’s collusion with Algeria, saying that it is against the spirit of the relationship and partnership between Rabat and Madrid.

The country also warned of a rupture of ties. Spain maintained that the decision to host Ghali was for humanitarian reasons.

Laya’s controversial remarks against Morocco escalated tensions between the two countries, leading to a frozen diplomatic tie since April.

Since the start of the crisis, Spanish and other European officials have warned that relations with Morocco are crucial and emphasized the need to secure partnership with Rabat.

ABC described Manuel as Pedro Sanchez’ “henchman, who must restore the relationship with Morocco.”

In addition to ABC, Radio Television Ceuta also highlighted the new FM’s determination to work to restore ties with Morocco.

On July 12, the news outlet put a video of Albares, documenting a press conference in which the Spanish FM described Morocco as a great friend.”

It remains to be seen whether the new FM will succeed in helping Spain to regain Morocco’s confidence after several months of “broken trust” between the two countries.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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