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Algeria demands ‘frank clarifications’ before envoy returns to Spain 

April 20, 2022 at 11:34 am

A member of the Sahrawi community holds a sticker reading ‘Sahara is not for sale’ during a protest outside the Minister of Foreign Affairs on March 26, 2022 in Madrid, Spain [Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]

Algeria has demanded “frank clarifications” from Spain before its envoy returns to Madrid following the Spanish government’s surprise shift in its position over the Western Sahara issue. The Algerians recalled their ambassador after Madrid officially endorsed Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as the “most serious and credible solution” to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara.

“The return of the Algerian ambassador to Madrid will be decided by the Algerian authorities within the framework of prior and frank clarifications to rebuild seriously damaged confidence on the basis of principles that are clear, foreseeable and consistent with international law,” said Amar Belani, Algeria’s special envoy in charge of Western Sahara and the Maghreb countries.

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez renewed his government’s support for Morocco’s plan on Monday 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 stances adopted by several European and other countries with regard to the issue.

READ: Spain parliament condemns gov’t shift in position on Western Sahara

Sanchez referenced the support of France and Germany for the Moroccan plan as a serious and credible basis for finding a mutually agreed political solution to end the dispute.

Commenting on the Spanish official’s statement, Belani said, “These are remarks formulated with disconcerting lightness, which correspond to the will to absolve oneself of the heavy personal responsibility in adopting this surprising reversal on the question of Western Sahara which breaks with Spain’s traditional balanced position.” He accused Spain of being “irresponsible” after this policy reversal.

“We are far from a conclusive assertion about autonomy which would be… equivalent to the undue recognition of ‘Moroccan Western Sahara’, a territory… whose final status remains to be determined and which is eligible for self-determination in accordance with international legitimacy,” the Algerian official concluded.