Algeria was waiting for an explanation about Spain’s shift in position in relation to Western Sahara, which never came, and Algiers sent signs of anger that Madrid did not understandconsiders today the Algerian press on the diplomatic crisis between the two Mediterranean countries.
“The anger of Algiers was not taken very seriously by Madrid and the Algerian authorities had to do everything possible so that, on the other side of the Mediterranean, they finally understood that we were not facing a passing cloud, ”the digital TSA collected in an editorial.
The withdrawal of the ambassador on March 19hours after the new Spanish position of support for the Moroccan proposal on its former colony of Madrid was revealed -breaking decades of consensus for a self-determination referendum- It was the beginning of the tension.
Algiers fell silent afterwards, waiting for a clarification and Spain continued to stage its change of position; the most explicit: the visit on April 7 of the head of government, Pedro Sánchez, to Rabat to put an end to the crisis with Morocco -Algeria’s regional rival- and where he returned to support the Moroccan initiative to grant an autonomy regime to the former Spanish colony.
Sánchez’s appearance in Congress on Wednesday, again defending his position, without mentioning his North African neighbor, ended up igniting Algiers, which announced the rupture of the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborhood and Cooperation, which for two decades shaped the relations between the two countries.
Also, Algiers announced the freezing of “bank direct debits” that will affect commercial relations, although today in Algeria the direct consequences of its application have not yet transpired.
“The heads of government and foreign policy in Spain continue to cause more chaos inside and outside the country, while trying to implicate the institutions of the European Union in fatal legal and discretionary errors,” said columnist Hamza Mahsul in the daily “Echaab” before the mediation of the European Union in a matter that Algiers considers bilateral.
The author defines Sánchez as a “troublemaker”.
“How do you confiscate the right of the Saharawi people to organize a self-determination referendum and decide instead by handing it over to the Moroccan occupation?” asks the columnist about the origin of the diplomatic crisis.
Spain’s change of position on its former colony is incomprehensible to Algeria, the main defender of the Saharawi cause and supporter of the pro-independence Polisario Front, exiled in the camps within the Algerian borders, and demands obligations from Madrid not only political “but moral”, in the words of the Algerian president, Abdelmajid Tebboune.
“Spain sounds the alarms” is the title of another article today on the front page of the newspaper “el Khabar”, about the bilateral crisis.