Friday, January 21

Morocco’s campaign against Germany and Spain: its media criticize the German ambassador to visit Melilla

Pedro Sánchez talks with the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI.

Pedro Sánchez talks with the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI.

Morocco he no longer hides his discomfort with Spain for the lack of gestures on the Occidental Sahara. After a few months in which the forms have been maintained, with a first glimpse of reestablishment of diplomatic relations after the announcement of the king that he wanted to open a “unprecedented step” and a subsequent rectification of its own Mohamed VI in which he said to expect from his partners “bolder and clearer postures“, referring, of course, to the Sahara, different Moroccan media they have started a campaign against the Spanish Government and against Germany.

With the two countries, communication is suspended after Rabat called their respective ambassadors for consultations. None have returned yet. And in both cases, apart from other reasons being put forward, the main cause of the disagreements is that neither Germany nor Spain have endorsed the change in position of the US, whose former president, Donald Trump, on December 10, 2020, acknowledged the Moroccan Sahara.

Now, a visit from the german ambassador in Madrid, Wolfgang Dold, last Thursday at Melilla has triggered hostility towards the two countries in some Moroccan media, some of them important, such as It closes, considered serious by Spain.

This media considers that the ambassador’s posting means that “the crisis between Rabat and Berlin is destined to continue.” Criticism of the harmony between Spaniards and Germans within the EU and that the Government Delegation has allowed the visit to Melilla. And it frames what happened in that “the expected warming of relations between Rabat and Madrid has cooled down.”

The Colimator, minority, argues that Dold has traveled to a “busy” city and qualifies it as “serious provocation” and of “hostile act”. “These two countries and other members of the European Union believe that Morocco is a natural reserve of the old continent,” he says. Spain and Germany, he adds, “who do not hide their affinities with the Algerian military regime, are degraded as much as he is to become ridiculous.”

In response to these criticisms, sources from the German embassy made statements yesterday to ‘The Newspaper of Spain’ in which they explain that ambassador trips to different Spanish regions are routine and that within this framework and on a regular basis, meetings are held with local authorities in which issues such as the general political, economic and social situation are addressed. Yabiladi maintains that Dold “requested a strengthening of his country’s cooperation with the Civil Guard command in Melilla, including an exchange of information on migration networks, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.” The same sources emphasize that it is a visit that was planned for a long time and that it had been postponed several times due to the pandemic.

The two media launch accusations against Madrid and Berlin that were very common during the most critical moments of the diplomatic crisis with both countries. In the Spanish case, since the call for consultations by the ambassador, last May, due to the reception in Logroño of the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Gali, until practically summer, when Pedro Sanchez replaced Arancha González Laya by Jose Manuel Albares to the front of Exteriors. Only after that gesture, demanded by Rabat, did Mohamed VI seem to end the tension.

But, the fact that Albares has not yet met with his counterpart, Nasser BouritaThat the ambassador does not return and that the High Level Meeting (RAN) between the two governments has not been set, proves that there is no progress. Mohamed VI has sustained his mandate on the promise that Morocco will recover its “territorial integrity”. That supposes and is something that the Government, in the Foreign and Defense dome, have fully assumed, that they will first fight for the Occidental Sahara and then by Ceuta and melilla.

Rabat doesn’t even hide it. In an interview with an Egyptian network in December 2020, the then prime minister Saadeddine El Othmani, defended that the two autonomous cities “They are Moroccan like the Sahara”. And so knowledgeable is the Executive of this threat that the intention of Foreign Affairs in this new stage was to shield Ceuta and Melilla in the relationship with Morocco. The Executive wanted promote a new cooperation framework in which the two countries agree not to carry out any unilateral act that violates the territorial integrity of the other. It is not intended that Rabat change its national interests but it was intended to make it very clear that Spain’s national interests are not going to change either.

At this time, this claim is still a longing. Mohamed VI continues to demand that Spain give signals of support for his autonomist plan for the Sahara and border his proposal for a negotiated solution between Rabat and the Polisario Front and the participation also of Algeria. Moroccan sources acknowledge that as long as the Spanish Government does not make more gestures, it is very difficult to recover communication. “The things go wrong”, they assure.

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