Africa

Western Sahara: when Morocco blackmails Spain

The former Spanish Foreign Minister García Margallo launched a paving stone in the already turbulent relations between Spain and Morocco. He stated that the Cherifian Kingdom was using illegal immigration as a weapon to orient Spanish foreign policy in Africa in general and Western Sahara in particular in its favor.

José Manuel García Margallo was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain under the government of Mariano Rajoy for almost five years, from the end of 2011 to the end of 2016.

In an interview, he explains how the Mohammed VI of Morocco blackmailed Spain, and thereby the whole of the European Union, on the question of Western Sahara using the weapon of illegal immigration.

His statements are unambiguous: “When something disturbs Morocco, it opens its hands, and we receive an avalanche of boats full of illegal immigrants,” he said in an interview on the program En Cerrados.

A complicated situation that successive Spanish governments have never dared to face, preferring to negotiate with Rabat. For the former Minister, it is simply blackmail allowing Morocco to obtain European support for its African strategy and especially for its policy in Western Sahara.

Another example of the complicated relations between Spain and Morocco cited by García Margallo was the meetings that took place between representatives of Podemos, the new left-wing Spanish political party, and members of the Polisario Front.

In retaliation, explains the former Minister, Morocco, as soon as it became aware of these exchanges, decided to close its borders with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in order to suffocate it economically. A not very diplomatic way to force the Spanish government to put pressure on Podémos to stop these meetings.

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