Algeria has demanded “open clarifications” from Spain before its envoy returns to Madrid after the Spanish government surprisingly changed its position on the Western Sahara issue. Algerians recalled their ambassador after Madrid officially endorsed Morocco’s autonomy plan as the “most serious and credible solution” to settling the Western Sahara dispute.
“The return of the Algerian ambassador to Madrid will be decided by the Algerian authorities in the context of prior and open inquiries in order to restore the badly damaged trust on the basis of clear, predictable principles compatible with international law,” Amar Belani said. Algeria’s Special Representative for Western Sahara and the Maghreb countries.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday renewed his government’s support for Morocco’s plan and reiterated Spain’s determination to maintain a strong partnership between Rabat and Madrid. He pointed out that his country’s position on Western Sahara is in line with UN resolutions and the recent positions of several European and other countries on the issue.
READ: Spanish Parliament condemns government’s change of position on Western Sahara
Sanchez cited France and Germany’s support for the Moroccan plan as a serious and credible basis for finding an amicable political solution to end the dispute.
Commenting on the Spanish official’s statement, Belani said: “These are remarks, worded with worrying lightness, that reflect a willingness to absolve oneself of the heavy personal responsibility of making this surprising U-turn on the Western Sahara issue, which breaks with Spain’s traditional balanced position .” He accused Spain of being “irresponsible” after this change of course.
“We are a long way from a conclusive assertion of autonomy, which … would be tantamount to improper recognition of ‘Moroccan Western Sahara,’ a territory … whose final status has yet to be determined and which is entitled to self-determination under international legitimacy,” the concluded Algerian officials.