Wide Angle

Morocco-Spain : To Rabat, receiving Brahim Ghali is not «the core of the crisis»

In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco specified that the case of the reception by Spain of Brahim Ghali is not «the core of the serious crisis».

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The appearance of Brahim Ghali, the secretary general of the Polisario Front, this Tuesday before the Spanish justice, «is not at the origin of the serious crisis» between Morocco and Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African cooperation and Moroccans living abroad announced on Monday.

In a statement released on the eve of Ghali's hearing, the Moroccan ministry affirmed that this appearance, which «comes to show the true face» of the Polisario, confirms «what Morocco had said from the start» regarding his arrival in Spain «in a fraudulent and occult manner».

«A question of broken trust between partners»

This case «underlines the responsibility of Spain towards itself, since the victims of the so-called Ghali are above all Spanish», reads the statement, adding that «this appearance is the beginning of a first recognition of the rights of the victims and of the criminal and penal responsibility of this individual». However, for the Kingdom, «the root of the problem is a question of broken trust between partners» and a «question of hostile Spanish ulterior motives on the subject of the Sahara, a sacred cause for the Moroccan people».

«The crisis is not linked to the case of a man. It is first and foremost a question of trust and mutual respect broken between Morocco and Spain. It is a test for the reliability of the partnership between Morocco and Spain».

Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African cooperation and Moroccans living abroad

The Moroccan ministry stresses that «Morocco's legitimate expectations go beyond» that and «begin with an unambiguous clarification by Spain of its choices, decisions and positions». The Kingdom believes that this case «revealed the hostile attitudes and harmful strategies of Spain with regard to the question of the Moroccan Sahara» and «revealed the connivance of our northern neighbor with the adversaries of the Kingdom to undermine the territorial integrity of Morocco».

«Fight separatism at home and encourage it in your neighbor»

The ministry believes that «this crisis touches upon a question of coherence». «You cannot fight separatism at home and encourage it in your neighbor state», recalling that «Morocco's policy towards Spain has always been clear». Rabat unearths, in this sense, the position of the Kingdom during the Catalan crisis, reminding Madrid of the fact that it had changed the program of a Catalan delegation visiting Morocco in 2012 and the refusal of Rabat to receive the former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont. «Morocco has the right to expect no less from Spain. This is the very principle of an authentic partnership», the same source added.

When Morocco sacrificed its relationship with Catalonia to please Spain

Morocco also recalls having «always shown solidarity with Spain» and that despite the natural difficulties linked to the region, these «must never make people forget that solidarity is to partnership what reliability is to good neighborliness and what trust is to friendship». The statement cites several examples, including the security cooperation and the fight against terrorism.

«Morocco has, moreover and obviously, no problem with the Spanish people, its citizens, its economic operators, its cultural actors and its tourists, who are warmly welcomed as friends and neighbors in Morocco».

While affirming that «Morocco will remain attached to its bonds of natural and authentic friendship towards the Spanish people», Moroccan diplomacy concludes by recalling that «the Moroccan authorities hope that this declaration will be fully shared to enlighten Spanish public opinion and present it with facts, data and figures».

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