Reform Of Algerian-Spanish Relations Postponed Until Further Notice
The state of political tension in Spain after the recent general elections has prolonged the diplomatic crisis between Madrid and Algeria. Alberto Núñez Vallejo, the leader of the Popular Party that won the elections and was appointed by the King to form the government, failed, leaving the initiative to the former Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez.
A breakthrough in Algerian-Spanish relations appeared on the horizon last July after the results of the Spanish general elections were announced, which resulted in the defeat of the party of former Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. However, after seventy days of political consultations, Alberto Núñez announced his inability to mobilize the necessary votes to obtain the approval of the Spanish Congress (Parliament).
The leader of the Popular Party, which failed to form a government, is considered a fierce advocate of the restoration of Algerian-Spanish relations, and even a strong critic of the former Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, for deliberately unbalancing his country’s relations with both Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco by issuing a decision to support the so-called autonomy plan in Western Sahara, which was advanced by the Moroccan regime in 2007.
On Tuesday, October 3, the Spanish King, Felipe VI, received the former Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Workers’ Party, Pedro Sanchez, and assigned him the task of forming the Spanish government, succeeding the leader of the rival party, the Popular Party, Alberto Nunez Vallejo, who returned a letter to the King last week. The assignment announced his failure to form the government.
According to Spanish media reports, Sanchez will spend more time without being able to form a government because he does not have the number of parliamentary seats to guarantee a majority on the day of the vote on the government program, which prompted his rival, Alberto Nunez Vallejo, to name a government. Sanchez calls it a “government of lies” that has no other purpose than to waste time.
Political and media observers in the Iberian Peninsula agree that the political tension in Madrid will end with a rerun of the general elections before the middle of next January, as required by the Spanish Constitution, which considers the appointment of Sanchez as a second option a protocol procedure required by democratic norms.
The expected, although unlikely, return of the former Spanish Prime Minister to the Monelco Palace would prolong the diplomatic crisis with Algeria, which has lasted for almost a year and a half, contrary to what the Spanish had hoped, especially the economic operators, who alone paid the price of this crisis, because of Algerian sanctions on Spanish exports.
The Algerian side announced on more than one occasion that the return of relations with Spain would not be with a government led by Pedro Sanchez, a conviction that was firmly established among the decision-makers in Algeria, due to the ill-considered decisions taken by the Moncloa Palace in 2022, which caused a diplomatic rupture between the two countries. This was demonstrated by the fact that Algeria recalled its ambassador in Madrid, leaving the post vacant for more than a year and a half.
During the period of a year and a half, the Spanish side, represented by the Prime Minister-designate, worked to reduce the intensity of the tensions by changing its position on the Sahrawi issue on two occasions, the first in September 2022 and the second in September 2023, before the United Nations General Assembly, where it confirmed, however, that the solution to this issue must be “within the framework of the United Nations Charter and Security Council resolutions and accepted by both parties, namely Morocco and the Polisario Front”. This is a stronger position than his letter to the Moroccan King Mohammed VI in March 2022, because it came before the United Nations General Assembly in audio and video, but Algeria did not ease its anger against him, preferring to continue the option of breaking with Madrid.