The discreet Spain support to Morocco in Western Sahara.

Publically the language is impeccable. Members of the Spanish Government and diplomats show, with rare exception, an exquisie neutrality when they speak about the conflict in Western Sahara which face since 39 years Morocco and Polisario Front, backed by Algeria. The Spanish president Mariano Rajoy was, for example, a model of impartiality when he received UN Secretary General in Madrid in April 2013.

However, underhand, Spanish diplomacy supports Morocco and its autonomy proposal, formulated in 2007 for the territory that was colonized by Spain until 1975. The cables of US State Department, unveiled in 2010 by Wikileaks, and showed, for example, then Ambassador of Spain in Morocco, Luis Planas, offering help to the Moroccan authorities to elaborate their autonomy offer for Western Sahara.

Now the Moroccan Wikileaks provides new data. Since early October, hundreds of confidential documents of the Moroccan diplomacy are being unveiled by Chris Coleman, a fake Twitter profile. Behind him a hacker is hide or a secret service that hacked the computers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Moroccan foreign secret service (DGED).

Inside Western Sahara Friends Group (USA, Russia, France, UK and Spain), Spanish diplomacy always seems ready to lend a hand to Rabat. It happened, for example, in April last year when US ambassador, Susan Rice, proposed to extend MINURSO (UN contingent) mandate in Western Sahara to monitor human rights respect . Paris and, in a lesser extent, Madrid avoid this initiative that angered Rabat.

This year, in March, Spain vice ambassador to the UN, Juan Manuel González de Linares, realigned again with his French colleague in the Group meeting. He stressed above all "Morocco progress on human rights" but also expressed his support to Christopher Ross, the mediator in the conflict appointed by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General. Rabat abominate Ross.

Spanish diplomacy not always stood by Ross. In June 2012, Spanish Foreign Affairs ministry, José-Manuel Garcia-Margallo, backed publicly Rabat objections against Ross mediation. "It would be good to move forward to faster dossier and focus on the core issues of this dossier instead of getting lost in topics accessories", said Minister in the Moroccan capital. Three months after King Mohammed VI rectified after receiving a call from Ban Ki-moon. García-Margallo then did the same.

Spanish minister also strived to avoid African Union from playing a role in negotiations between Morocco and Polisario Front, the armed movement that demands the independence of Western Sahara. In order to this, he met in January in Addis Ababa with the president of the African Union Commission, Nzosazana Dlamini Zuma.

He told Dlamini-Zuma, as Ignacio Ybanez, Director General of Foreign Policy, anticipated to Moroccan, , that "Spain wished to preserve the process" negotiation sponsored by UN and avoid "interference". Even then, African Union appointed, at their summit in June, an envoy for Western Sahara, the former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano. On his first visit to New York, Chissano stressed that, in the eyes of the African Union, Spain remains the administering power of Western Sahara even if it can not exercise such work because Morocco controls the territory. His words angered the Moroccan diplomacy and bothered to Spanish.

Doing so is not easy for the Spanish government acknowledged in late October 2013, García-Margallo to meet with Salaheddin Mezouar, then newly appointed Moroccan Foreign Minister. There is no "pressure from civil society and political forces as well as the media and public opinion to try to influence the official position of Spain," he said.

Moroccan thanks

Rabat is aware of the efforts made by Rajoy Government in Western Sahara subject and in many others, and it is grateful. When, for example, the vice minister of Moroccan Foreign affairs Mbarka Bouaida, met García-Margallo in Madrid, late February, began the conversation "thanking Spain for its constant support within the instances of the European Union (...) ".

But the Moroccan authorities are also insatiable in their demand for Spanish support. Bouaida asked his host that the Spanish cooperation "include the Southern Provinces [Western Sahara] without any mention that might call into question their moroccan ownership". She mentiones twi examples of refused expressions: "territories under the jurisdiction" or "under administration" of Morocco. Western Sahara is not covered in the Spanish development aid to Morocco.

To the former colony have tried in recent years to travel dozens of delegations of politicians, trade unionists and members of the Spanish civil society and other European countries. Almost all have been driven manu military without any protest from Spanish Government, neither the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, nor Rajoy, damned the Moroccan action or raise a complaint with Rabat even when the rejected are parliamentarians.

Whereas, UK British ambassador in Rabat, Clive Alderton, dit it, when he was received, on April 13, 2013, [European and Spanish]parliamentary delegations undermine Moroccan efforts Moroccan on human rights," ambassador said, according to Moroccan transcription of his declaration. "Morocco must be interested in being more open to visits requests", he said. Till now, he has not bee more receptive.

Ignacio Cembrero

El Mundo, 28/11/2014

Non official translation of Diaspora Saharaui