Spanish Party Laments Spain’s Inability to End Crisis with Morocco

January 12, 2022
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Spain’s People’s Party (PP) has again torn into Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares for his perceived inability to end the lingering diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Spain.

PP’s international secretary, Valentina Martinez, lashed out at the Spanish FM and heavily criticized his general foreign diplomacy after six months in office.

For Martinez, the first six months of Jose as a foreign minister have been a “huge disappointment.”

She claimed that Spain remains in “absolute international irrelevance,” stressing that no major change has occurred in the main foreign policy issues for Spain, such as relations with Morocco.

In April 2021, Spain-Morocco relations experienced an unprecedented political crisis after the Pedro Sanchez-led government allowed Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to enter Spanish territory.

Ghali arrived in Spain in April for hospitalization. Morocco denounced the Spanish decision to provide a safe haven to the separatist leader, saying that such a move constituted a major breach of trust and a mockery of the “sacred” principle of reciprocity in the long-standing Spain-Morocco relationship. 

Spain initially dismissed Morocco’s repeated protestations. As tensions exacerbated, however, Madrid signaled its readiness to make amends by sacking former FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya. Laya, who stood accused of facilitating Ghali’s trip to Spain, was replaced with Albares, seen as a connoisseur of Morocco who could help mend the damaged Madrid-Rabat friendship.

Since his appointment, Albares has been attempting to restore normalcy to relations between Spain and Morocco. The Spanish FM has been also attempting to secure a meeting with Morocco’s foreign affairs minister Nasser Bourita.

Unimpressed by Albares’s record in six months of meandering diplomacy with no tangible results to show, PP’s Valentiina Martinez told Europa Press that Spain’s diplomacy has been enormously disappointing in recent months. 

“Spain is not respected abroad today,”  Martinez said, pointing out that neither Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez nor Albares “ have a clear agenda or strategy” when it comes to dealing with allies and securing Spain’s most vital national interests.

For the PP deputy, Albares continues on the same path that “Arancha Gonzalez Laya already started and that has been a ‘shoemaker vacation’” attitude when coping with regional crisis situations or dealing with Spanish-American relations.