Algeria has criticized the decision of the Government of Spain to change its position in relation to Western Sahara and consider the autonomy proposal as the “most realistic basis” to solve said territorial conflict, the Algerian news portal TSA reported this Saturday, citing a familiar source with the matter.
The source has described this act as a “second historical betrayal of the Saharawi people by Madrid after the disastrous agreement of 1975” (“the Madrid Agreement“), , referring to the pact under which the Francoist government handed over its colony to Morocco and Mauritania.
The local media, which recalls the diplomatic and migratory crisis experienced between the Iberian country and the Maghreb country, details that an Algerian diplomat has stated that “Morocco has finally obtained what it wanted from Spain.”
PS: Algeria calls its ambassador in Madrid for consultations after Spain’s change of position on the Sahara
Statement of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Bir Lehlu, March 18, 2022
With great astonishment, the Government of the Saharawi Republic and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro (Polisario Front) have seen this afternoon the content of the two communiqués issued by the Moroccan occupier and the Government of the Spanish administering power, and consequently express the following:
1- The position expressed by the Spanish Government is absolutely in contradiction with international legality.
The United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice and all regional and continental organizations do not recognize any sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara.
Also, Spain, together with France, drew the borders between Western Sahara and its three neighbors, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania, has more legal and political responsibilities than others in defending the internationally recognized borders to prevent Moroccan expansion, as well as its responsibility towards the Saharawi people and the United Nations. This responsibility persists as long as the Saharawi people have not been able to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The position expressed in both declarations lacks credibility, seriousness, responsibility and realism, since it constitutes a dangerous deviation, which violates international legality, supports the occupation, encourages aggression and the policy of faits accomplis, as well as the flight forward and seeks to legitimize the repression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the looting of wealth that Morocco pursues against the Saharawi people.
This occurs in a context characterized by the severity of the conflict in Western Sahara after the resumption of the war in November 2020, and the state of tension in the area due to the Kingdom of Morocco’s continuation of its expansionist policies and plans to threaten the security and stability of the region.
2. This change announced by the current Spanish government is the result of intense months of Moroccan blackmail.
Unfortunately, instead of Madrid intending to restore its bilateral relations with its southern neighbor on correct and solid foundations, it chose to submit, once again, to Moroccan blackmail.
3- The position expressed contains extremely dangerous elements, such as qualifying the Moroccan proposal as “the most serious, realistic and objective… etc., to resolve the conflict in Western Sahara”, in clear support of the unilateral approach, in contradiction with the legality and international law and free democratic practice by the Saharawi people in relation to their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The declaration of the Spanish Government did not stop there, but went further to the most dangerous when referring to the agreement of “respect for the territorial integrity of the two countries”, which, in the context of the conflict in Western Sahara, is nothing but a clear adoption of the Moroccan expansionist thesis.
4. This position has a very negative effect on any possible role of Spain in the solution of the decolonization conflict in Western Sahara, and the current efforts to reactivate and revitalize the peace process by the United Nations. We hoped that Spain, with impartiality and a sense of its legal and historical responsibilities, would accompany the two parties and the new personal envoy to resume the political process. It is unfortunate that Madrid chooses, once again, to submit to Moroccan blackmail and end the hope that existed, fueling tension and escalation.
5- Despite all this, Spain cannot unilaterally disassociate itself from its legal responsibilities towards Western Sahara and its people, since it is the administering powera of the territory pending decolonization. Nor can he turn his back on his political responsibilities, since he is primarily responsible for the suffering of the Saharawi people and of all the peoples in the area, who until now have not been able to enjoy stability due to the wound left by Spain in 1975. , and which continues to poison the relations of the peoples and countries of the region.
6- The Saharawi people, their Government and the Polisario Front make an urgent appeal to the Spanish political forces and to all the peoples of Spain, so that they put pressure on the Spanish Government in order to correct this serious error, and force Madrid to assume its responsibilities, which do not disappear with time: to end colonialism in Western Sahara in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, especially with regard to the exercise of the right of colonized peoples to self-determination and independence.