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MADRID – The former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, spoke about the blackmail carried out by Morocco in Spain to change its position on the Saharawi question, using migration as a means of pressure.

Questioned in an interview with El Diario Montanes about the pressure exercised by Rabat on Madrid on the question of Western Sahara, Mrs Arancha Gonzalez replied: “Nobody is fooled”.

She also mentioned the blackmail of Makhzen: “What I believe is that the European Union (EU), after different episodes on the border with Turkey and Belarus and also with Morocco, has clearly rejected the use of migration as a political weapon”.

“Everything must be done to avoid using people in a very vulnerable situation,” she said.

The former head of diplomacy also referred again to the hospitalisation of the Saharawi President Brahim Ghali in Spain, which triggered the crisis with Morocco. She explained that there was a problem which preceded this humanitarian act, and that very important migratory movements had taken place before.

“The case predates Ghali’s arrival in Spain. It would never be acceptable for someone to tell us how to carry out a humanitarian action,” she warned.

On the other hand, Gonzalez Laya insisted on the importance of negotiations to reach a solution to the conflict in Western Sahara occupied by Morocco and to support the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the UN SG for this dossier.

“What I say and will support is that there must be a solution to the Western Sahara problem and that this can only come from a negotiation between the parties (Morocco and the Polisario Front, editor’s note). Only a negotiation between the parties will be effective in the medium term, and we must also support the efforts of the UN mediator,” she said.

She pointed out that “there are questions of foreign policy where Spain is only one more actor and others where it is a protagonist, like the conflict in Western Sahara”.