Warming up between Morocco and the EU: Spain as mediator?

Will Morocco and the European Union quickly turn the page on the tensions caused by the comments made by Josep Borrell? This Tuesday, European Union sources said that the meeting, which was first scheduled for mid-September between the head of Moroccan diplomacy and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy will finally take place.

In a statement by the Spanish agency EFE, the same sources explained that “Brussels is looking for a date with Rabat”. “There will be a meeting” but “the date has not been chosen”, they added. This confirmation comes as Moroccan diplomatic sources confirmed on Friday that the meeting between the heads of diplomacy of Morocco and the European Union would have been cancelled. “Borrell’s visit to Morocco in the current context is inappropriate,” added the same sources.

The clarifications from European diplomatic sources come as EU foreign ministers meet on Thursday in Prague to discuss this issue in particular. According to EFE, it was an “informal meeting” that discussed Morocco’s “cancellation of a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, scheduled for mid-September”. The EU ministers, however, discussed two main topics, namely the Russian invasion of Ukraine and also the “links between the EU and Africa”.

“Spain will always be a bridge” to facilitate EU-Morocco relations

So little information has been filtered in this meeting, the head of Spanish diplomacy, José Manuel Albares has announced the color, indirectly revealing the contribution of Spain for a rapid restoration of relations between Rabat and Brussels. “Spain will always be a bridge to facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between the European Union and Morocco, two mutually indispensable partners,” he told EFE today.

“We support the best relations between Morocco and the European Union. We believe that Morocco and the European Union are two indispensable partners for each other and that their relations are mutually beneficial.

Jose Manuel Albares

The head of Spanish diplomacy added that his country wants “the European Union to maintain the same relationship with Morocco that Spain has established (…) a stable, mutually beneficial and [marquée par un] mutual respect”. The same relationship should be maintained between the EU and “all Mediterranean neighbours”, he continued.

On Tuesday, in an interview with RTVE, Josep Borrell said that the position of the Spanish government on the conflict in Western Sahara is the EU, which consists of “defending the holding of a consultation so that the Saharawi people decide on his future.”. The following day, the High Representative qualified his comments, in an interview with EFE, by ensuring that the solution to the conflict in Western Sahara “goes through a solution agreed between the parties” and ” within the framework of United Nations resolutions”.

However, the damage has already been done. Responding to these statements during a press conference with his German counterpart, Nasser Bourita estimated, Thursday, “these declarations (…) do not reflect the position of Spain and the European Union”. “Let’s hope it’s a slip of the tongue from Borrell,” he added.

It should be noted that Algeria reacted to the first declarations of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, seeing it as an “offensive and direct response to Moroccan pressure” on the Sahara issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *