Restoring Ties With Algeria, Next Spanish Government’s Top Priorities
The first man in the Spanish Popular Party (PP)-Partido Popular-, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, was asked after his victory in the local and regional elections that took place last Sunday, about the future of Algerian-Spanish relations if he will be appointed prime minister, and he replied that restoring ties with Algeria is one of the priorities of his next government.
In response to a journalist’s question, the Spanish opposition politician said; “… I said that before, if we come to power. In the first place, we will try to restore relations with Algeria. It is a legacy left to us by all previous heads of government. They all enjoyed good relations with Algeria and Portugal, including Felipe Gonzalez, and José Maria Aznar… It was a country with which we made a treaty of friendship.”
Last Sunday, the opposition right-wing party, the Popular Party, managed to defeat the Socialist Party, the party of the current prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, in the local and regional elections, which was behind the decision of the head of the leadership of the ruling party, represented by Pedro Sanchez, to call for legislative elections in advance on July 23, instead of the previously set date, which is December 10, 2023.
It is known that the current Spanish government, headed by Pedro Sanchez, is responsible for the collapse of relations between Algeria and Madrid, due to the sudden deviation in the Spanish position on the Western Sahara issue, by engaging in support for the autonomy scheme presented by the Moroccan Makhzen regime in 2007, which Algeria considered, as President Abdelmadjid Tebboune also stated an “unfriendly” position, because it does not respect the international law, and a betrayal of the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness signed between the two countries in 2002.
From the perspective of the head of the party that won the local and regional elections this week, and who is a strong candidate to head the next Spanish government, what was done by Pedro Sanchez is considered a betrayal of a political path drawn by his predecessors to the “Moncloa Palace”, in terms of relations with Algeria, which he described as ” good,” as stated in the aforementioned statement.
As for the political class in Spain, the expected exit of the head of the Madrid government from power was not surprising, as the man accumulated many mistakes that were difficult to redress or overcome, as he decided unilaterally to change Spain’s foreign policy and violate United Nations resolutions by adopting the case of one of the disputants in the Moroccan-Sahrawi conflict, in a scenario that remained unclear, as the Spaniards today accuse Sanchez of being a hostage to the Moroccan Makhzen regime, and causing losses to the Spanish economy estimated at four billion dollars, due to Algeria’s decision to impose painful economic sanctions on the Spanish party, following the suspension of the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighbourliness.
The Spanish prime minister was not the only one to pay the price next month because of his position. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, will is the second official on the Spanish side who harmed relations with Algeria, and who has been previously accused by Spanish politicians of failing to accomplish his mission as the manager of the diplomatic apparatus of his country, which caused problems for Madrid, that took on economic dimensions (losses for Spanish companies) and energy (Algeria reduced gas exports while raising prices).
Regarding the successor of the Spanish Foreign Minister, who was previously described by the Algerian Foreign Ministry as a “clown and amateur diplomat”, media reports are circulating the name of a person very close to Algeria, who is responsible for the foreign relations of the Popular Party candidate to win the upcoming legislation, Esteban Gonzalez Pins, based on his position in the largest opposition party, which is close to ascending to the throne of “Moncloa”.