Algeria has just taken a new snub in its case of blackmailing Spain, the day after an interview with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in which he sharply criticized Madrid’s recent decision to support the Moroccan proposal for autonomy in the Sahara.
“What Spain has done is unacceptable, ethically and historically,” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Saturday evening when answering questions from local journalists.
The Algerian head of state delivered a long tirade to severely criticize Spain, and the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, accusing it of having “violated international law” by supporting the Moroccan plan to autonomy for the Sahara.
“Let’s distinguish between the government and the Spanish state. We have strong and very strong relations with the Spanish state,” said Tebboune, driving the point home again for the head of the Spanish government. “He did not receive the support of others, neither in the Congress of Deputies nor in the street”he added.
The Algerian head of state, who recalled his ambassador to Madrid following Spanish support for the Moroccan plan aimed at putting an end to a dispute invented by Algeria and which will have lasted almost 50 years, went further in his defiance by calling on Spain to ” see again “ his decision and “respect international law”believing that this would be the only solution to return to normal bilateral relations.
On Monday, the head of Spanish diplomacy, José Manuel Albares, reacted to this interview, and the least we can say is that it did not go to Madrid. Spain therefore responded with a tackle directly aimed at the Algerian president, demonstrating that this “freedom” that he took to comment on events that have no connection with his country, was not going to be tolerated.
“I will not fuel sterile controversies”said the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, knowing the logic and the Algerian strategy which seeks to create incidents and amplify them when there is a response.
The head of the Spanish diplomacy did not consider it useful to recall that the declarations of Abdelmadjid Tebboune were a clear interference in the affairs of another country, but his comment on the “sterile controversies” made it understood.
In his interview, Abdelmadjid Tebboune was questioned by journalists if his statements did not constitute an interference in Spanish politics. “I do not interfere in the internal affairs of Spain”he retorted, saying that Algeria would simply be a ” observer country concerning the Sahara”.
Also in response to Tebboune’s accusations, José Manuel Albares, added: “Spain has taken a sovereign decision within the framework of international law and there is nothing more to add.”
And to continue: “From all these declarations, what I retain is the total guarantee of the supply of Algerian gas to Spain and the respect of international contracts”.
Immediately, Algeria stepped up to the plate, to respond to the declaration of the Spanish minister. Algiers denounced remarks “derogatory, offensive and unacceptable (which) will certainly not contribute to a rapid return to normalcy in bilateral relations”, indicated Amar Belani, special envoy in charge of the Sahara issue at the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted by the official APS agency.
On March 18, Spain decided to put an end to several years of status quo, by supporting the only solution that must put an end to the dispute over the Sahara, by qualifying the Moroccan autonomy plan, described as “the basis more serious, realistic and credible for the resolution” of the regional dispute in the Sahara.