Morocco accuses Spain of "trying to Europeanise a bilateral crisis"

The Moroccan Foreign Minister has stressed that "the crisis did not begin with Ghali's arrival, nor does it end with his departure"
Atalayar_Nasser Bourita, ministro Exteriores Marruecos

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Morocco

The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naser Bourita, affirmed today that the Spanish government "is trying to Europeanise a crisis that is bilateral" between Morocco and Spain and that "did not end on 1 June" with the departure from Spanish territory of the Sahrawi leader Brahim Ghali.

"The crisis is there because its root causes continue", continued Bourita, who expressed himself in this way during an appearance before the press after the visit of his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto.

Bourita repeated on up to four occasions that "the crisis is bilateral" and "political", while Spain "tries to Europeanise it and divert it from its known causes, which are increasingly recognised by more and more actors", he said.

"It is above all a crisis of mutual trust, linked to an attitude that Morocco considers contrary to the spirit of the partnership: the bottom line is coherence between actions and words on separatism (because) you cannot ban separatism in your country and encourage it in your neighbour".

On previous occasions, Bourita himself has recalled that his government has always kept its distance from Catalan separatism, and accused Spain of, in return, acting in collusion with "Sahrawi separatism", especially manifested in the arrival and hospitalisation of its leader, Brahim Gali, in a Logroño hospital for treatment for COVID.

Atalayar_Brahim Ghali, jefe Frente Polisario
PHOTO/REUTERS - Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front Secretary General

But Bourita repeated that "the crisis did not begin with the arrival and does not end with the departure of this person".

"Europeanising this crisis is a flight forward, a way of diverting attention", said Bourita, for whom "Morocco is satisfied with its relationship with the European Union and its multiform cooperation with it", citing the recent declarations of two European officials praising the relationship with Rabat.

He also referred to the migration issue: "We have no lessons to learn, we act as the partners that we are", he said, referring to accusations of having encouraged, actively or through negligence, the mass emigration of more than 10,000 of its citizens to the city of Ceuta on 17 and 18 May.

Tomorrow, the European Parliament will vote on a controversial motion - which Bourita did not mention - on "the use of children by the Moroccan authorities in the migration crisis with Ceuta", and the possibility that it constitutes a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.