The meeting comes after Spanish Minister of Foreign affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya reaffirmed the Spanish government’s ongoing support for the UN-led political process in Western Sahara.
Rabat – Morocco’s ambassador to Spain Karima Benyaich met with the president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso on Monday to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation in various fields.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss questions of common interest and examine the means to stimulate cooperation between Morocco and the Autonomous Community of Madrid, said the Embassy of Morocco in a press release.
The two parties highlighted the ties of bilateral cooperation in relation to territorial policy and stressed the importance of promoting investment, encouraging the region’s companies to gain a foothold in Morocco, and launching joint projects in different sectors.
Ayuso stressed the important role played by the Moroccan community in the Madrid region in promoting the economic and social development of Spain, saying it is an example of the successful integration of immigrants.
The meeting came after Morocco’s Minister of Foreign affairs Nasser Bourita’s phone call with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya, to follow up on the meeting between the left-wing Podemos Party – part of the government coalition – and a delegation from the Polisario Front.
Spain’s Secretary of State for Social Rights and Podemos’ Secretary of Economy, Nacho Alvarez, attended the meeting, raising questions about the status of Madrid-Rabat relations under Spain’s current governing coalition.
The Spanish Minister of Foreign affairs, however, reassured Bourita that Spain maintains its unwavering position on Western Sahara and that the Spanish government maintains its support for the UN-led process in Western Sahara.
“I have clarified that the published statement does not reflect the position of the government. Spain’s position on Western Sahara has not changed, it is a state policy,” said Laya.
Meanwhile, Leader of Spanish political party Podemos Pablo Iglesias said in a televised interview with RTVE that the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the sole party responsible for Spain’s position on the Western Sahara question and relations between Madrid and Rabat.
He clarified that the Podemos-SADR meeting was held at “the request of the organization of Spanish Blind People (known by its Spanish acronym as ONCE), in the framework of an existing collaboration between Spain and the Polisario Front in favor of blind people in the Sahara.”