Spanish officials reacted on Monday to an article by El Pais which accuses Morocco of having used the 2021 migrant crisis to obtain a clear position from Spain on the Sahara. The Ministers of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska, of Defence, Margarita Robles, of the Presidency, of Relations with Justice, Félix Bolaños all defended relations with Morocco.
“Let’s not speculate. I have always said that speculation is absolutely inappropriate,” Interior Minister Grande Marlaska said, stressing that the relationship with Morocco is reliable and cooperative.
The minister was reacting to an article published on El Pais which would suppose that the migration crisis of May 2021 in the enclave of Sebta was part of a strategy of “pressure” from Morocco to move Spain’s position on the file of the Sahara. The Spanish media cites two reports from the Spanish intelligence services, the CNI.
“All reports published by the National Intelligence Center are secret by law and therefore I cannot comment on this,” said Félix Bolaños, when questioned on this subject.
The Minister preferred to celebrate the “new stage” which has now begun in bilateral relations with Morocco and collaboration “on migration, against terrorism, in commercial, economic and cultural matters”, as well as “the openness border crossing points in Ceuta and Melilla”.
The Spanish minister, who underlined the excellent relations between the two countries which have just ended an episode of diplomatic coldness, considered that all these green indicators are “very important and very positive for Spain and also for Morocco”. ,
For his part, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska brushed aside any criticism of Morocco, asking not to make “inappropriate” speculations and insisting that relations with Morocco are a “very important loyalty, reliability and fraternity”
The Minister described Morocco as a “strategic partner” and “absolutely loyal”, and assured that relations between the two countries “have been maintained, are maintained and will be maintained”.
And the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, also reacted to this news on Monday, stressing that relations with Morocco “have taken an important turn”, meaning that for Spain, having excellent relations with Morocco is a priority.
She explained that Spain “always bets on the paths of understanding, on the paths of dialogue, because the threats we have in the southern zone are very important”, citing the growing jihadism in the Sahel, in an interview on Telecinco, collected by Servimedia.
“Spain is a country which, due to its geographical position, must have good relations with all its neighbours, of course with Morocco,” she said, citing France, Algeria and Morocco. Portugal too.
And the Minister added: “Spain aspires to have a leadership in international affairs and much more in a context such as the one we have been experiencing since the war in Ukraine”. Therefore, “what is required of any country, and in this case of Spain, are the best possible relations with neighbors”.
She considered that it was important that “the countries of the south, the countries of the Mediterranean basin, have the best relations between them”, due to the expansion of jihadist terrorism and illegal immigration”.