19 months after the crisis that erupted between the Algerian and Spanish nations following the support of Pedro Sánchez's government for Morocco's proposal on Western Sahara

Algeria mends diplomatic relations with Spain

El presidente argelino Abdelmadjid Tebboune - PHOTO/FILE
photo_camera PHOTO/FILE - Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

Algeria has decided to send a new ambassador to Spain, according to information from the media El Confidencial, re-establishing full diplomatic relations between the North African and European countries after 19 months of estrangement caused by the Spanish government's support for Morocco's proposal for Western Sahara, which it considered the "most serious, credible and realistic" way to resolve the Saharawi dispute.  

In this way, Algeria would have ended the diplomatic crisis that had been open since Spain's support for Morocco's plan for Western Sahara, which has received the backing of many important countries, such as the United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and even Spain itself. 

Morocco proposes a formula of broad autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, respecting the resolutions of the United Nations (UN), with the aim of developing the region to the maximum in all areas, such as the economic, social, administrative, political, etc.  

AFP/FADEL SENNA - Puesto fronterizo entre Marruecos y Mauritania en Guerguerat, situado en el Sáhara Occidental
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Morocco-Mauritania border crossing point at Guerguerat, Western Sahara

Opposing this proposal is that of the Polisario Front, an organisation that advocates holding a referendum on independence for the Sahrawi population, which, according to various analysts, is difficult to achieve and has less international support, including Algeria, Morocco's great political rival, with which it severed diplomatic relations in August 2021 after accusing the Moroccan kingdom of "hostile acts", despite the outstretched hand that King Mohammed VI has offered in recent years to ensure good relations between the two Maghreb neighbours.  

Algeria criticised the support of Pedro Sánchez's government through the letter sent to King Mohammed VI, which expressed Spain's support for the Moroccan option for Western Sahara, as it represented a major political setback for the Algerian regime.  

From that moment on, political tensions and other problems linked to the economic sphere arose, such as the supply of Algerian gas to Spain, which the Spanish nation had to make up for in part through other supply channels following the impediments to Algerian gas due to the political conflict that had broken out, and also the Algerian veto on Spanish exports.  

PHOTO/FILE - Pedro Sánchez y Mohamed VI
PHOTO/FILE - Pedro Sánchez and Mohammed VI

In March 2022, the Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, ordered the recall of his ambassador to Spain, Said Moussi, for consultations, and issued a harsh communiqué. "The attitude of the Spanish government violates the international legality imposed on it by its status as an administering power and the efforts of the United Nations (...) and contributes directly to the deterioration of the situation in Western Sahara and in the region", according to the Algerian state.  

Now, according to El Confidencial, the Algerian government is preparing to send a new ambassador to Spain. There is speculation about the name of Abdel Fattah Daghmoum, a former minister-counsellor who has already been posted in Madrid. 

PHOTO/FILE - Abdelmadjid Tebboune
PHOTO/FILE - Abdelmadjid Tebboune

A return to diplomatic normality between Algeria and Spain would mean political stability between the two countries and the recovery of a desirable and stable economic relationship with normal gas supplies and a gradual end to the veto on Spanish exports. 

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