Morocco-Spain: A model for Europe

This high-level meeting between Morocco and Spain was expected as the political barometer of recent developments between the two countries. In the wake of the United States, the Spaniards made a major shift in the Sahara and launched an ambitious roadmap for relations between the two countries to bury the estrangements and differences once and for all.

The reunion between Morocco and Spain disseminated political messages aimed at Europe and the Maghreb, of great intensity. Those who thought that the honeymoon between Rabat and Madrid is as ephemeral as a spring season, are at their expense.
And for good reason! The many cooperation contracts that have embraced all areas of economic and cultural life have come to give substance to the roadmap drawn up between the two countries just after Spain began its process of recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over his Sahara.

Preceded by a telephone conversation between King Mohammed VI and the Spanish head of government, Pedro Sanchez, the multiple signing ceremonies, the numerous speeches by the heads of the two delegations, underlined an irreversible political reality: The two neighboring countries, one in the far north of Africa, the other in the far south of Europe have decided to enshrine their new strategic partnership in steel.

This summit meeting, in addition to highlighting the unequaled quality of the new relations between the two Kingdoms, dashed all the hopes of the Algerian regime.

Since the Spanish turn on the Sahara, Algiers clung to the hope of seeing Madrid reconsider its decision to support Morocco. To achieve this objective, all ranges of blackmail were practiced, backed by an intense lobbying campaign within Spanish political society itself.

The whole Algerian strategy was nourished by the hope of seeing the Spanish government submit to numerous pressures and revise downwards the thickness of its alliance with Morocco. However, the summit meeting between the Moroccan and Spanish governments has spectacularly confirmed that the two countries have entered a phase of no return in their new alliance.

For Spain, the Sahara is and will remain Moroccan. This powerful reality was a shock for the Algerian regime which, against all odds, continues to hopelessly feed the fantasy of the Polisario separatists.

The other political and diplomatic message of this reunion between Morocco and Spain will not have escaped France with which Rabat has maintained cold relations for months.

This intense tension, which the French Quai d’Orsay refuses to describe as a crisis, has a political background marked by a serious divergence. Morocco is asking France, as it had done for Spain, to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara.

At a time when Madrid puts its higher interests first and responds positively, Paris hesitates and locks itself in a logic of political muddle that complicates relations between two countries historically linked by a strategic partnership.

By staging its reunion with Spain in such a spectacular way, Morocco is also trying to export to its allies within the European Union, including France, this model of partnership based on respect for the sovereignty of fundamental of each country. Once their position on the Sahara has been clarified, the nature of cooperation in all its forms can take on unlimited scope.

As in the new configuration launched from Rabat, the unity of Morocco is now an integral part of the interests of Spain, it is not excluded that Madrid can play within the European authorities the role of political awareness of these countries, in particular the most hesitant, faced with the importance and the need to close this discord, nourished and armed by Algiers, by consecrating Moroccan sovereignty over its Saharan territories.

It is also not excluded, for this Spanish government, to take measures to limit the fields of activities of the Polisario and their sympathizers in Spain. A way to put an end to the separatist dreams that have long found echo and support within a fringe of Spanish society, nostalgic for this former colonial power in the Sahara.

By sealing their new alliance, Rabat and Madrid nipped the hopes of Algiers in the bud, blocked the horizon of the separatist adventure of the polisario, gently jostled the dynamics of cooperation with Paris by proposing an alternative to the crisis and caused a shock wave within the European Union, from which Morocco expects to reap the fruits tomorrow with the possible elaboration of a common position of the 27 on the Moroccan Sahara.

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