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Morocco says Minister Laya calls into question "mutual respect"

The Moroccan ambassador to Spain criticised "recent statements to the press and before parliament" by the Spanish Foreign Minister
Atalayar_Karima Benyaich. embajadora Marruecos España

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The Moroccan ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, today criticised "the recent statements to the press and before parliament" by the Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, which she said "call into question the mutual respect and trust referred to by the President of the Spanish Government", Pedro Sánchez.

The ambassador, who was recalled for consultations by her government to Rabat last week, made this statement, read out to the media from the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in the Moroccan capital, where the media were called as a matter of urgency.

Benyaich clarified that the statements made by González Laya to which she referred are not one in particular, but "several over the last few days", and considered that in them "he presents erroneous facts and uses inappropriate words".

The ambassador wondered whether these statements "are a personal blunder on the part of the minister or whether they reflect the whims of certain media in Spain opposed to the territorial integrity of the kingdom (referring to Western Sahara), a sacred cause of the people and the living forces of the nation".

Karima Benyaich. embajadora Marruecos España
Embassy of Morocco in Spain - Karima Benyaich, Ambassador of Morocco in Spain

"The current crisis", Benyaich continued, "has revealed the ulterior motives and objectives of certain media in Spain which continue to harm the higher interests of Morocco since the recovery of the Moroccan Sahara in 1975", referring to the Green March, Benyaich said.

The ambassador concluded by saying that on the basis of these words of the minister, "Morocco takes note and will act accordingly", without going into other details.

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs invoked "discretion" on Wednesday in order not to specify what contacts have been made with Moroccan authorities to resolve the crisis between the two countries caused by the hospitalisation in Spain of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, and the entry last week of some 8,000 illegal immigrants into the Spanish city of Ceuta, in the face of the passivity of the Moroccan police at the border.

At a press conference, González Laya assured that Ghali "will leave Spain when he is out of danger and the reason why he is in our country, a critical medical situation, is over".

He also stressed that the Spanish government is aware of the "rejection" that the decision on Ghali has caused in Morocco and is "fully open to dialogue and to looking to the future", as it has always believed that "Morocco is a partner and friend of Spain and we want it to remain so", and that both countries benefit from maintaining a good relationship and mutual progress.