The Saharawi delegate questions the emphasis on Spanish territorial integrity: “It’s like doubting”
(EUROPA PRESS) – The delegate of the Polisario Front in Spain, Abdullah Arabi, criticized the agreement signed during the visit to Morocco of the spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, to reactivate the dialogue on the delimitation of maritime spaces and warned that the General Court of the European Union has already established that only the Saharawi people can decide the future of their waters.
The King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, received Sánchez in Rabat, at a meeting and at a subsequent dinner that resulted in a joint declaration. As stated in this text, the two countries agreed to reactivate “the working group on the delimitation of maritime spaces on the Atlantic coast with the objective of achieving concrete progress”.
It is, in the words of Sánchez, “holding discussions in good faith within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”. “This is very good news for fellow citizens of the Canary Islands”, underlined the Spanish president in Rabat.
However, Arabi alluded to the jurisprudence of the European Justice, which in 2021 annulled a fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco for affecting the waters adjacent to Western Sahara and not taking into account the interests of the Saharawi people, expressed through their ” legitimate political representative.
“The territorial waters of Western Sahara are part of Western Sahara and if the territory is pending decolonization, so are the waters”, explained the Polisario delegate in an interview with Europa Press. In this sense, he assumed that, according to European norms, Morocco and Western Sahara “are two distinct and separate territories”.
Morocco proceeded in early 2020 to pass two laws that delimit the Moroccan territorial sea to 12 miles and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to 200 miles from its coasts. This delimitation conflicts with that of Spanish territorial waters in the Canary Islands.
Before Thursday’s meeting, the Sánchez government declared that both governments wanted to resolve the issue by mutual agreement and in accordance with the aforementioned UN convention.
“DOUBTS” ABOUT TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY
Arabi said that Morocco “instrumentalizes” visits like that of Sánchez and warned that “it is very difficult to fulfill what has been agreed.” In this sense, he pointed out that the Alaouite kingdom resorts to “blackmail” and “manipulation” so that countries like Spain agree with its claims, in this case recognizing Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara.
“Spain did not measure the decision and will have many problems”, predicted the Polisario representative, recalling the PSOE’s loneliness in the Congress of Deputies, which rejected Sánchez’s “radical turn” to “please” Mohammed VI.
Arabi insisted that the Polisario is only in favor of a referendum where there is a “yes or yes” option of independence, regardless of the relations that Madrid and Rabat may have. “We have nothing against good neighborly relations,” he added.
Sánchez’s visit ended without compromise in terms of territorial integrity and, according to Arabi, “anyone who knows Morocco and its expansionist desires” knows that it “never” will sign a document in which it renounces its aspirations over Ceuta and Melilla.
Likewise, he questioned that the Spanish government places so much emphasis on the issue of territorial integrity, as “it’s like doubting”, as well as questioning Spanish sovereignty over the two autonomous cities.
On the image of the Spanish flag upside down at the dinner between Sánchez and Mohamed VI, Arabi pointed out that with Morocco “nothing is accidental”, as it “measures the entire staging”. However, he stressed that it is up to Spain to assess whether or not it considers a protocol failure.