Spain’s new position on the Sahara issue was widely commented by Monday’s North Macedonian press, which deemed it “a serious setback for the polisario separatists and their allies.” ”Spain has officially welcomed the Moroccan autonomy plan in the Sahara,” wrote MKD newspaper, quoting the message addressed to HM King Mohammed VI by the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, acknowledging Morocco’s autonomy plan as ”the most serious and sustainable basis for resolving the Sahara issue.” The Spanish state is convinced that the Sahara is of paramount importance to the Kingdom,” it stated. MKD emphasized Spain’s new commitment to participate in full transparency, worthy of “the great friend and ally of Morocco” to avoid the repetition of the diplomatic misunderstanding of 2021, adding that Madrid is also committed to honoring all its obligations. This new phase in relations between Morocco and Spain, two countries linked by historical and geographical ties, will have beneficial effects on the future of relations between Rabat and Madrid, it added, stressing that Spain’s new stance confirms the position of the United States, whose President Joe Biden has reiterated his support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over the Sahara. In the same vein, the website of the Canal 5 TV channel, one of the most followed in North Macedonia, underlined Spain’s determination to open a new page in its relationship with Morocco by recognizing the autonomy plan as a solution to this regional conflict and acknowledging the Kingdom’s efforts within the UN to solve the Sahara issue. While recalling that relations between Madrid and Rabat have experienced some friction in 2021, Channel 5 noted that Sanchez now declares himself in favor of a new phase in Spain’s relations with Morocco. The two neighboring countries agree to ”develop an ambitious road-map to ensure the stability, sovereignty, territorial integrity and prosperity of both countries, bound by historical relations,” it added. According to the same source, the shift in Spain’s position only confirms the validity of the Moroccan cause regarding the Sahara, as reaffirmed by the United States, which reiterated its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its Southern provinces.
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