The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just announced that the high-level meeting between Spain and Morocco which was due to be held on Thursday 17 December has been postponed until February next year.
In the official communiqué, it is stated that "Spain and Morocco have noted that the current epidemiological situation is preventing the High Level Meeting from being held on the date scheduled with the health safety guarantees considered appropriate by both delegations". "For this reason, both countries have agreed to postpone the holding of the High Level Meeting in Morocco until February 2021, so that it can take place smoothly, including the usual meetings that are typical of a meeting of this magnitude".
It is surprising that this announcement is made just a few hours after the US president, Donald Trump, recognised Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Pedro Sánchez's visit to Rabat on 17 December was already immersed in a series of controversies. King Mohammed VI had refused to receive the president, and the Royal House claimed that "the king's agenda is complete" and "for health security of the COVID-19".
The monarch was thus responding to the position held by the coaltion party Unidas Podemos on the question of Western Sahara. Pablo Iglesias has shown on many occasions that he is in favour of holding a free referendum in the region. King Mohammed VI let his disagreement with the Executive of the Coalition PSOE-United We Can be seen in the midst of a serious migration crisis.
The reactions of the coalition party Unidas Podemos have not been long in coming. Idoia Villanueva, the party's international secretary, called on the international community to be "forceful". "Our absolute condemnation of this declaration, we demand the fulfilment of the UN resolutions, the calling of a referendum for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people and the end of the occupation, blockade and apartheid in Palestine," she wrote on her social networks. President Trump's decision will bring a tailwind on the international stage. These are the first reactions, but many more are expected.