In search of new partnerships in Africa, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez seeks somehow to contain the influence of Morocco as a regional power in Africa. Which says a lot about the depth of the crisis between the two kingdoms. Decryption.
Madrid is trying to take advantage of the fleeting clouds between Morocco and the United States, in particular, the American remarks in relation to the treatment of the trials of journalists S. Raissouni and O. Radi, to review its cards with Washington and Rabat. However, the relations between these cannot be shaken in view of their permanent solidity.
While waiting to turn the page on the diplomatic dispute with Rabat, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will resume his series of visits abroad this week with an African tour that will take him to Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.
The diplomatic embarrassment will last
The exclusion of Rabat from the second African tour of the Spanish Prime Minister suggests that the diplomatic embarrassment between Morocco and Spain will tend to last longer than expected.
In order to escape Spain’s economic dependence on its first client, Morocco, Pedro Sanchez, who launched the “Plan Focus Africa 2023” program aimed at strengthening the economic partnership with the African continent.
In this context, he went, at the beginning of last April, in the company of a delegation of businessmen from his country to Angola, Ghana and Senegal.
Madrid justified its procrastination by health reasons linked to the pandemic, which did not prevent the Prime Minister from traveling to other African countries.
Madrid do not want to prolong the crisis with Rabat. She fears the occurrence of new setbacks in the face of Morocco’s insistence on obtaining explanations on the Ibrahim Ghali affair and its desire to settle the Sahara issue and leave no possibility for the Spaniards to maneuver on this issue. This is why it seeks to contain the influence of Morocco on the continent.
Spain wants to contain Morocco’s influence in Africa
The researcher in international relations, Abdelhamid Benkhattab, confided in this sense to Hespress Ar that “the arrival of Podemos to power was a shock at the level of Spanish foreign policy” considering that “this radical party had a negative impact on Moroccan-Spanish relations ”.
For Benkhattab the fact that “Sanchez’s visit includes the pillars of the African continent would mean that he seeks to counterbalance Morocco within the framework of its alliances in the region”.
Thus, he affirms, “the crisis with Madrid will continue as long as the Sanchez government is maintained”.
This specialist in international relations explains that “Madrid seeks to fill the void left by Morocco in its relations with Africa”.
“This trend explains the desire of the Spanish government to contain the extent of Morocco’s influence in Africa, given that the Kingdom is a regional power,” concludes this professor of political science at the Mohammed V University.