Friday, May 27

Albares asks Blinken in Washington to “join forces” to “find a solution” to the Shara


The minister informed the US Secretary of State about the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid and support for the “integrity” of Ukraine

Tony Blinken (ed.) And Jos
Tony Blinken (left) and José Manuel Albares, this Tuesday.AP

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, met this Tuesday in Washington with his American counterpart, the Secretary of State, Tony Blink, and has discussed with him two issues on the international agenda that are key for Spain: relations with Morocco and the burning problem of Russia.

Regarding Morocco, Albares declared after the meeting that he had agreed with Blinken to “join forces” for the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara, which “is already going on too long”. “We have agreed to join forces to resolve this conflict that has lasted too long and for which a solution must be found,” the minister stressed.

In December 2020, the United States, still under the Donald Trump Administration, recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony evicted in 1975 and which has remained occupied by Rabat ever since.

Spain has resisted following the same path and officially maintains that there must be a negotiated solution between Morocco, Spain and the Saharawi population. Position that is behind the diplomatic conflict between Madrid and Rabat that began last May due to the entry into Spain of the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, and the massive irruption of immigrants in Ceuta.

The call of Philip VI

The crisis has not yet been resolved and the Moroccan ambassador to Spain, who was called for consultation, has still not returned, despite the wishes of the Pedro Sánchez government to end this crisis as soon as possible. Precisely, this same Monday Felipe VI intervened in the crisis, who until now had remained on the sidelines despite the good relations between the monarchies of both countries, asking to “walk together” to start a “new relationship”.

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In this “new relationship” the Shara issue is key and Spain has now formally asked the United States to get involved in finding a solution.

Albares met for 45 minutes with Blinken in Washington and discussed other issues, such as the NATO summit in Madrid next June or the situation in Latin America.

Russia and Ukraine

In relation to the great crisis that absorbs the attention of the United States and all of Europe, which is the threat of invasion of Ukraine For Russia, Albares reaffirmed “Spain’s commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea”, and declared that Spain is willing to work with the US in the event that “the dialogue does not bear fruit”.

Precisely, shortly before the meeting with Albares, Blinken announced an emergency trip to Ukraine and Germany, the NATO member that seems most reluctant to support Kiev in the event of a Russian invasion. Washington is concerned about Berlin’s ambivalence, which is a continuation of Angela Merkel’s policy, so much of the conversation was about “the tension with Russia and the need for us Europeans to be united,” according to Albares.

Moscow has 120,000 soldiers on the border between the two countries and has announced military maneuvers in Belarus, which will allow it to invade Ukraine from two fronts. Russia already annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and since then it has maintained a secessionist movement in the east of that country.

Latin America

In general, Albares and Blinken agreed on almost everything. The Spanish Foreign Minister did not raise the possibility of the US lifting sanctions on Spanish companies and businessmen who have invested in Cuba before his American counterpart, and described the situation in Nicaragua as “sad” Daniel Ortega he has just been sworn in as president after winning an election in which he had put the opposition in jail.

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“The release of political prisoners is necessary,” said Albares. In another of the Latin American dictatorships, Venezuela, the head of Spanish diplomacy insisted on the need for dialogue between the opposition and the government “so that the democratic senate advances.”

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