The agreement reached between the political movement SUMAR and the Polisario Front, to make “the Saharawi cause” one of the main battering rams of popular mobilisation in Spain in the new governmental cycle that is beginning, has gone down badly in Morocco. 

The political group presided over by Yolanda Diaz, who in all likelihood will repeat as vice-president of the government and this time perhaps as first in rank, omitted to include ‘the Saharawi cause’ in the government pact signed with the PSOE and made public on 24 October last. 

Sánchez imposed silence on Díaz, who complied submissively. The ‘great politics’ (foreign policy, defence, international relations, finances, millionaire state contracts, etc.) are the exclusive prerogative of the president of the government. Sánchez again demonstrated this by leaving the Western Sahara issue aside, as he did when in March 2022 he sent a letter to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI stating that ‘Spain considers that the Moroccan proposal for autonomy for the Sahara presented in 2007 is the most serious, credible and realistic basis for the resolution of this dispute’.

This was enough for the Polisario Front and all its supporters in Spanish civil society and in the different political circles to point the finger at Yolanda Díaz as unfriendly, incoherent and even traitorous, since in her electoral programme and in all her previous speeches she swore to defend “the Saharawi cause” for life. 

The reaction of the parties and political formations to the left of the PSOE was such that the Díaz-Sánchez duo was forced to rectify, and the empowered SUMAR woman brokered an agreement with the Polisario Front a few days later, in eleven points, promising to defend their cause, sending important delegations to Tindouf and Laayoune, advocating support in Europe, facilitating Spanish nationality for the Saharawis and creating commissions here and there. 

In Rabat it was a surprise. Morocco knows in detail the facilities that Spain gives to the Polisario, its leaders and their families, medical treatment, residency, aid and subsidies, protection. But how is it possible that a few days before Pedro Sánchez’s attempt to receive the support of Congress for his investiture, the acting president runs the risk of reopening a crisis with Morocco? In what capacity is Yolanda Díaz making such promises to the Polisario? Vice-president of the acting government? Or leader of SUMAR? 

The pacifying messages that La Moncloa may have sent to the Moroccan Royal Palace in this regard may have been received as a diplomatic courtesy, but they have gone down badly. Madrid is playing with fire,” a Moroccan diplomatic source told Atalayar. Pedro Sánchez knows this, and he also knows that if the limit is exceeded, there will be a response”. 

Morocco is aware that acting President of the government Pedro Sánchez has played a very difficult game of internal political balancing act, not only in his concessions to pro-independence parties, but also in his operation with SUMAR, aimed at decapitating the rival United Podemos and phagocytising its electorate. But from there to crossing the demarcation line is a step. If President Sánchez tolerates, actively or passively, that his government ally makes backroom deals with the Polisario, relations with the new government will not be easy, according to Moroccans. And just like yesterday, today and tomorrow, it will be the Spaniards who stand to lose: the market, projects, trade, autonomous cities, territorial sea and a long etcetera.

Source : Atalayar

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