Spain Says It Will Not Intervene If Judiciary Summons Brahim Ghali

Rabat – The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, said on Tuesday that her government will not intervene if Spanish courts summon Polisario leader  Brahim Ghali to stand trial for the litany of criminal charges he has been associated with. “Spain’s position with respect to Morocco is strategic and has not changed,” the Spanish […] The post Spain Says It Will Not Intervene If Judiciary Summons Brahim Ghali appeared first on Morocco World News.

Spain Says It Will Not Intervene If Judiciary Summons Brahim Ghali

Rabat – The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, said on Tuesday that her government will not intervene if Spanish courts summon Polisario leader  Brahim Ghali to stand trial for the litany of criminal charges he has been associated with.

“Spain’s position with respect to Morocco is strategic and has not changed,” the Spanish FM emphasized.

She also extolled cooperation with Morocco, describing the North African country as a “privileged partner.”

Laya’s remarks came following news of a Spanish judge’s summoning of Brahim Ghali and two other senior Polisario members. 

Morocco’s intelligence detected Brahim Ghali’s presence in Spain, with Rapat expressing anger at the European country’s hosting of the sepratist leader. 

In its first official response to news of Ghali’s hospitalization in a Spanish medical establishment, the Moroccan government appeared to particularly take issue with the fact that Spain did not even consult or inform Rabat of its decision to welcome the Polisario leader. 

For Rabat, the decision to host Ghali, who is facing rape, torture, forced disappirance, and kidnapping charges, is a huge stain on the “privileged” partnership between Spain and Morocco.

According to reliable reports, Spain and Algeria coordinated “at the highest level” to arrange for Ghali’s hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment. Algeria is the Polisario Front’s main international sponsor, with the Algerian government sheltering and financing the separatist movement. 

Read also: Polisario Leader Brahim Ghali to Appear Before Spanish Court

Spain, meanwhile, often self-describes as a strong and “special” Moroccan ally. In a feeble bid to reassure Morocco, Spain has argued that it only hosted Ghali for “humanitarian reasons.” As Madrid sees it – or hopes, rather – its decision should not hurt the strategic bilateral ties with Morocco.

In a recent interview with EFE, however, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, directly asked Spain if it’s “ready to sacrifice its relations with Morocco” for Brahim Ghali.

Bourita said that Morocco is “waiting for  satisfactory and convincing response,” rather than words and vague reassurances about the indispensability of the bilateral cooperation between Rabat and Madrid.

By hosting Ghali, he insisted, Spain has put itself in a situation where it will have to show whether it is really a strategic partner for Morocco or the much-celebrated economic and political cooperation between the two countries are “simply slogans.”

Bourita also recalled Morocco’s unwavering support for the Spanish government when it was facing serious legitimacy challenges from Catalan separatism.

“Morocco was very clear” during the situation, Bourita argued, saying that his country rejected all contact and interaction with Catalan separatists.

The Moroccan FM revealed that Rabat even informed Spain when the leaders of the separatists asked Rabat to receive them.

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