Sid Hamdi Yahdih
Spain has had no firm principles towards Western Sahara
affair. In 1975, it surrendered it to Morocco on a golden tray.
Juan Carlos, the then/actual king of Spain told the Sahrawis
on November 2nd,1975 in Aiun, "that Spain will defend its
obligations towards Western Sahara and the World" but the same day,
he called king Hassan 2 to tell him too, that "Spain could
reach an agreement with Morocco to partition Western
Over all the periods of the armed conflict, Spain refused to play any honorable role to resolve the affair positively.
When Zapatero came to power in Spain we thought that he will participate, positively, in a honorable solution to the affair, but the contrary happened.
The socialist governing party in Spain surrendered, finally, to Morocco's pressure, and adopted the Moroccan idea of "regional solution" to the Sahara conflict, and in the same time consoles the Sahrawis by some nonesense words.
As it was clear from the begining, Zapatero's courtesy to the monarch would not go to nothing. Zapatero's frequent visits to Morocco before/after his election as Spanish prime minister were not for tourism. He went there, unfortunately, only to do a secret, shameless affair. But during his residence in Morocco he, shamefully, could not make his agreement with Morocco clear. The secret plan between Morocco and Zapatero aims to unify their both efforts to find a regional solution to the Sahara conflict, without any participation, whatsoever, of UN. The secret solution, as we understand it, aims to allow to Morocco to practise its souvereignity over Western Sahara.
Both countries had ex-changed secret/ official visits to develop the plan more and more. For example, during his visit of Spain, André Azoulay, the famous jewish-counsellor to king Mohamed the sixth, had discussed in Madrid the possibility of making modifications on Morroccan's constitution to allow to some regions to govern itselves including Western Sahara.
But if Zapatero got shamed of making his ideas so clear about the subject, his powerful man, Pasqual Maragall, president of Catalunya, declared during his own pilgrim to Morocco (see El Pais, 29/05/ 2004) that Zapatero wants a regional solution to Sahara affair without any reference to United Nations resolutions and solutions.
In the same time, Zapatero sent a high foreign ministry funcionary to the Sahrawis to console them by saying that his party will not accept any solution to the Sahara affair except one under the UN's supervision. The weakness of Spain to face Morocco's threat of illegal migration made Morocco's pressure surges again with the new factor of the possibility of exporting terrorisme to Spain.
In accordance with Morocco's theory, "we (the Morroccans) could invade Spain with people, drugs, and arms (terror) if it will refuse to amend its political position towards Western Sahara."
Although the Spanish new political position became clear, what could POLISARIO do to make its own pressure on Zapatero ? Polisario has good allies in Spain, including some Zapatero allies, and could mobilize them to make pressure on the government to make it return back to the will of the popular opinion, and to remember it of its slogans during the electoral campain when it was claiming for a big role for UN in international affairs.
Some Spaniards guess that Zapatero's jump into bed with Morocco's king is only to avoid an eventual alliance between Morocco and USA as an outcome of Spanish withdrawal from Irak. USA is very angry with Zapatero's party, and to punish him, it want to enforce its alliance with Morocco to make more pressure on Spanish government from the nearest place... But USA had already declared the state of "emergency and war " in North Africa. It decided to put the region, side by side, with Middle East in the same plan of reforms aiming to bring the Western democracy into the Arabic home. The draft of the mentioned plan was entitled "plan for Middle East", but now it becomes "plan for Middle East and North Africa". In the same time, parallelly with the new stape, USA opened again its stores of arms to Morocco to take what it needs of new tecnology to fight against ???? But to fight what:? To fight against POLISARIO or Algeria or Mauritania? to fight against terror? But terror fighting does not need such arsenal?
Moratinos, Spainsh foreign minister, asked his Moroccan counterpart about the deal of arms between Morocco and USA, Benaissa said: " We do not need arms from USA" ( see EL PAIS 10/06/2004).
When the meeting was up, both ministers agreed to find a "political, just solution to the Sahara affair under UN supervision". But if there is a political solution what will be the role of UN? A political solution does not need a supervision from UN.
As a conclusion, Zapatero is repeating the history of no-Spanish principals towards Western Sahara affair. He prefered previous alliance with Morocco, to face both American/Moroccan pressures, than to defend international principals towards a samll affair as Sahara one.