Sebta and Melilla: Controversial Occupied Presidencies

After insisting that the content of Pedro Sanchez’s letter of support for the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara, addressed on March 14, 2022 to King Mohammed VI, be known, the Spanish right seeks to pierce the content of the negotiations between Rabat and Madrid on the file of the Presidencies occupied in the North of Morocco.

It is in this context that it will be necessary to place the approach of the media El Debate, close to right-wing circles, by demanding that the content of the missive sent, at the end of May in Rabat, to denounce the Moroccan claims on Sebta be revealed. and Melilla. El Debate’s request was refused by the Spanish government. In his response, the Spanish diplomacy led by José Manuel Albares explained that the publication of the document “would be detrimental to foreign relations” with Morocco.

As a reminder, the Iberian press had revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had disputed in a note intended for the embassy of the kingdom in Madrid, the Moroccanity of Sebta and Melilla in the protest letter from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent on 17 May, to the European Commission.

The debate around this colonial liability that Madrid is determined to bury goes beyond the sole framework of the political and media contest on the Iberian chessboard. Brussels is also in demand. The proof, the European Commission reacted to the question co-signed by the Spanish MEPs of the Renew Group, Jordi Cañas y Maite Pagazaurtundúan, who had demanded from the EC to sanction Morocco for “its multiple questioning of Spanishness” of the two chairs. Moroccan claims to recover the occupied Presides and the islets attached to them have no impact on the partnership between the kingdom and the European Union. Brussels “does not plan to revise the extensive and fruitful association between the EU and Morocco”, replied the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

On the other hand, Josep Borrell assured that “the EU institutions have publicly reaffirmed the well-known official position on the importance of protecting the external borders of the EU and this was the objective of the statements of the Vice-President [ Margaritis] Schinas concerning the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, two territories which belong to the European Union and form part of its external borders”.

As a reminder, Moroccan diplomacy had claimed, via a letter sent on May 17 to the European Commission, the Moroccanness of the Presidencies still under Spanish occupation.

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