March 22 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Polisario Front has rejected this Wednesday the announcement of the Spanish Government on the initiation of contacts with Morocco so that Rabat is the one that manages the airspace of Western Sahara, currently dependent on the controllers of the Canary Islands, in order to comply with point seven of the joint declaration that both governments signed in April 2022.
The Polisario delegate in Spain, Abdulah Arabi, has issued a statement in which he accuses the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, of acting “premeditatedly, with his back to Chambers and Spanish civil society” to advance their “erratic” policy for Western Sahara.
“This fact demonstrates the desperation of the Government of Spain in the absence of significant results brought about by the ‘new stage’ of relations with Morocco. The Government has lost all possibility of initiative, it is Morocco that manages the rhythm, sets and determines the times of relations between the two countries”, criticized Arabi.
Thus, from the Polisario they consider that it is “extremely worrying” that Madrid, instead of rectifying its decision, continues negotiating with Morocco, the “occupying power of Western Sahara”, issues on which the Court of Justice of the European Union has already ruled in February 2018, when it concluded that Rabat lacked sovereignty over Saharawi waters and airspace.
Therefore, Arabi has stressed that, according to the Court, the management of the Western Sahara airspace “belongs to the Saharawi people” and Spain is ultimately responsible for its management as it is the “administrating power of the territory” in question.
“As long as the decolonization process that allows the Saharawi people to exercise their legitimate and inalienable right to self-determination and independence is not completed, Spain will continue to be responsible for whatever happens in the territory illegally occupied by Morocco”, the Polisario Front has asserted.
The Polisario’s response comes after Moncloa affirmed this Wednesday that the talks have already started “in this area”, and they have clarified that the contacts with Morocco are in order “to achieve greater security in the connections and technical cooperation”.
President Sánchez and the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, met in Rabat in April 2022 with the aim of starting a new stage in the relationship between the two countries, signing a joint declaration that, in point seven, indicated that ” talks on airspace management will begin”, without further clarification.
With this dialogue, Morocco seeks to stop Spain from being the one that manages the airspace over the Sahara, something that today is done from the Canary Islands. For his part, in an interview with Europa Press, Arabi already expressed his concern about possible negotiations regarding air and maritime spaces.
CENTER OF THE CERVANTES INSTITUTE IN AAIÚN
On the other hand, Arabi has also spoken out regarding the controversy over the plans of the Cervantes Institute to open an extension in El Aaiún, in Western Sahara, as well as to teach classes in the Saharawi refugee camps in Rabuni (Algeria).
For Arabi, the idea of inaugurating a new headquarters “in the occupied city of El Aaiún is legally questionable” and directly harms “the credibility” of the Cervantes Institute itself, since it would mean bowing to the interests of Morocco “to launder the military occupation of the Sahara Western”.
Cervantes sources consulted by Europa Press acknowledged last week that the institute “wants to settle in El Aaiún as soon as possible” but at the moment there is no scheduled date since the location where it would be installed has not yet been located. The organization thus confirmed what was previously stated by the Government, which stated that “the opening of an extension is contemplated provided that a space that meets the ideal conditions is located.”
However, the Executive has ruled out this Wednesday that the Cervantes Institute was going to open a headquarters in El Aaiún “if by headquarters is understood the figure of the center that is regulated in its Law and Regulations”, and has alluded again to the conditions of suitability for future extension.