Friday, February 26

Spain fears that Joe Biden will not change his position on the Western Shara

The foreign action plan

Friday, February 19, 2021 – 01:45

Minister Gonzlez Laya assures in Congress that the Government works so that there is a UN envoy

Minister Arancha Gonz

Minister Arancha Gonzlez Laya greets PP deputy Jos Ignacio Echniz, this Thursday, in Congress.

Spain begins to assume that the new US president, Joe Biden, will not correct Donald Trump’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Shara Occidental, carried out at the end of his mandate in exchange for the Moroccans to normalize their diplomatic relations with Israel. This is the impression that the Government has, as confirmed by different sources consulted, that they are justified in that the American decision, once adopted, is not Trump’s but the US’s, and they do not see Biden ec

breaking a compromise reached by his country. Just this Thursday, a group of 27 US senators, 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats, called for

by letter

to the new US president to reverse what they consider to be Trump’s mistake, according to


. But the Spanish pessimism about a possible change remains intact and this Thursday the Foreign Minister,

Arancha Gonzlez Laya

, although he did not explicitly refer to this matter in his appearance at the


, he assured that the relations with Morocco are “of a very good neighbor, of partners and friends”, but as it happens with the rest of countries “we do not agree in everything.”

The Spanish position “has not changed”

The Shara issue was one of those that arose in the Foreign Committee, where the minister intervened to present the foreign action strategy. Despite the shift imposed by Trump, Gonzlez Laya reiterated that the Spanish position “has not changed”, based on the “centrality” of the


to arbitrate a “political”, “lasting” and “mutually acceptable solution for the parties”. The head of Spanish diplomacy explained that her efforts are now focused on the UN Secretary General,

Antnio Guterres

, appoint your special representative, who should lead the search for a solution, “as soon as possible.” “This position has been vacant for 19 months and we are focused on reaching a consensus on the figure of the UN special envoy for Western Shara,” said the minister. While this is taking place at a time when criticism of the Polisario Front for Spanish abandonment is also intensifying, Gonzlez Laya stressed that the Saharans are being supported through international cooperation. “We are a responsible country that fulfills its commitments.”

The reproaches of Podemos

However, the general nature of the appearance and the fact that the minister had not been to Congress for months generated a very polydricious debate, in which


But especially the pro-independence forces, they ugly tried to promote Spain as a guarantor of human rights when “singers are imprisoned” or “the referendum in Catalonia is prevented.” The






pointed out the difficulty of promoting a foreign policy when the second vice president himself,

Pablo Iglesias

, maintains that Spain is not a full democracy. The PP Foreign spokeswoman,

Valentina Martnez

, I reminded him that he has as a partner someone who “questions the constitutional and international order”, and that of Citizens,

Marta Martn

, which is “very difficult to work if part of the government is dedicated to boycotting it.” Laya did not respond to any of these considerations. The discussion was angry at many times, but there could be a ventilation slit on foreign policy in the polarized Spanish climate. Although the opposition reproached the minister for having only one week to contribute proposals to the document that marks Spain’s new international strategy, Laya’s invitation to collaborate was maintained.

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