The former president of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has affirmed that the relationship with Morocco is “fundamental” for the security and stability of Spain, while stressing the relevance of the autonomy plan for the settlement of the artificial conflict over the Sahara. In an interview with Canal Sur TV channel, aired on Wednesday, Zapatero called for “regaining confidence” in relations between the two countries following the crisis triggered due to the Spanish authorities’ decision to host secretly and under a false identity the leader of the separatists, the man named Brahim Ghali. “We must regain the confidence which is an essential element in foreign relations,” he insisted. Morocco “has always been a serious, dynamic and loyal partner” towards Spain “in the fight against jihadist terrorism and in the migration policy”, noted Zapatero, recalling that, when he was head of government, “there was a perfect understanding”. Regarding the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, Zapatero noted that the autonomy plan presented by Morocco remains “the basis” for any settlement of this regional dispute. “The Kingdom of Morocco presented in 2007 a project of extensive autonomy which was well received and welcomed”, he affirmed, adding that it is the “ideal framework which serves as a basis” to achieve a “reasonable agreement”. “It is a very advanced autonomy project for the Sahara that should be the option to explore,” Zapatero insisted.
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