Spain's New Stance on Western Sahara Brings Morocco-Algeria Tensions Back to a Boil
MIN READMay 2, 2022 | 21:31 GMT
People take part in a ''Free Sahara'' rally in Madrid, Spain, on March 30, 2022, in protest of the Spanish government's recent move to recognize Morocco's autonomy plan for the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
(PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Morocco and Algeria's cold war will deepen as the former gains international support for its territorial claims in the disputed region of Western Sahara. The ongoing conflict will further damage Morocco's economy, politically isolate Algeria and risk violent but largely low-level confrontations near the two North African countries' border. On March 18, Spain shifted its position on Morocco and Algeria's territorial dispute in Western Sahara by saying it supported Morocco's 2006 autonomy plan, which Rabat claims would grant the indigenous Sahrawi people autonomy but under Moroccan sovereignty. As a past participant in the Western Sahara conflict in the 1970s and as an economic partner of both Morocco and Algeria, Spain is an important voice in the decades-long dispute over the African territory. Madrid's move could thus see more European countries shift their diplomatic position on Western Sahara. The latest economic, political, and security aggravations between Morocco and Algeria also indicate both...