The High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union declared on television that the Spanish government and Brussels defend a consultation of the Saharawi people

Sáhara Occidental : exministro marroquí Lahcen Haddad responde a las declaraciones de Borrell

Through the microphones of the Moroccan channel M24, the former minister, Lahcen Haddad, president of the Morocco-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, dismissed as "incoherent" and "out of date" the declarations on the Sahara made by Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, made the day before on the morning news of RTVE.

In his intervention, Borrell responded to the question of whether the European Union motivated the change of position of the Spanish government in the Sahara dossier.

The head of European external policy said no."The Spanish government has its own foreign policy. We are pleased that relations with Morocco have improved. And at the end of the day, the Spanish government's position was and is the same as that of the European Union. That is to say, to defend the holding of a consultation so that the Sahrawi people can decide how they want their future to be. The Spanish government has not moved away from this position", Borrell said live on RTVE.

Borrell's words came as a surprise. Among the first to respond to his statements was Moroccan adviser Lahcen Haddad, who said that Borrell's words are "Not only inappropriate and incoherent, but also not in line with the developments that the case has known for some time".  

"Mr Borrell says that the position of the EU, including that of Spain, is 'the organisation of a consultation so that it is the Saharawi people who decide their future', assuming the role of the one who decides on the existence of a 'Saharawi people' and wanting to go back 20 years with regard to the referendum that Morocco had proposed as a solution to the problem of the Sahara and which had been declared unviable and impracticable by the UN Secretary General", added the member of the Moroccan House of Councillors.

The MEP of the Popular Party, Esteban González Pons, joined in late Wednesday afternoon to support the line taken by the Moroccan parliamentarian, whom he knows personally and with whom he collaborates as a member of various committees of the European Parliament.

For his part, the EU High Representative later qualified his words during an interview with the EFE news agency, in which he assured this time that the positions of the European Union and the Spanish government "are not incompatible".

"It is important to explain and clarify that the position of the Spanish government is not contradictory, it is not incompatible with that of the European Union on the issue of the Sahara. It fits perfectly within the common position of the European Union", Borrell said on the sidelines of the 'Quo Vadis Europa' conference, held today in Santander.

"We advocate that the solution to the Sahara problem should be an agreed solution between the parties. In the framework of the United Nations resolutions and we do not express a preference as to how it should be done. That is up to the parties. And it is up to the special envoy of the UN Secretary General in particular, whom we support in his work, Mr De Mistura", he added.

lahcen haddad ex ministro y miembro de la cámara de los consejeros marroquí

This second intervention by Borrell is more in line with its last response in a hearing before the European Parliament. When asked on 1 April 2022 by Spanish MEP María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos of the Renew group about the EU's position on the Sahara issue, the answer was "The EU's position on Western Sahara - reflecting the common view among EU member states - is to fully support the efforts led by the United Nations (UN) for a political process with a view to reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions, and in particular Resolution 2602.

The EU considers that all issues relating to the question of Western Sahara and its status should be addressed, in accordance with international law, in the framework of the ongoing negotiations under the leadership of the UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura. The UN-led process is open and its final outcome must be decided by the parties within the parameters of the UN Security Council resolutions.

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