Benhammou On Morocco-Spain Crisis: Morocco No Longer Accepts Political Hypocrisy
"Morocco is a country that respects its responsibilities towards its partners when there is a mutual responsibility that has clear foundations and objectives, and is known for its rational stances, but when it comes to the strategic interests of the kingdom, we do not accept duality and ambiguity in stances."
Professor Mohammed Benhammou, President of the Moroccan Center for Strategic Studies confirmed that Morocco today no longer accepts political hypocrisy and double standards, and is no longer lenient in the issue of its territorial integrity, against the background of developments in relations with Spain after receiving Polisario leader Brahim Ghali.
In an analytical article entitled “Spain and the Danger Complex Coming from the South”, Benhammou said that Morocco today no longer accepts political hypocrisy and double standards, and is no longer tolerating issues concerning its territorial integrity, as expressed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in his speech on the occasion of Throne Day by saying, “We will not yield to any pressure or attempt to blackmail a cause sacred to all Moroccans”, considering that the Sahara issue is an existential issue for the Kingdom and one of its top strategic priorities.
In this regard, Benhammou indicated that the atmosphere in Morocco’s relations with the northern neighbor is hardly cleared until it provokes another crisis, highlighting that after it opposed Morocco’s demarcation of its maritime borders, and its opposition to the US recognition of Moroccan sovereignity over the Sahara under various pretexts, Spain moved to another level in opposition to the strategic interests of Morocco, under the excuse of humanitarian conditions.
Moreover, he highlighted that Morocco, in every crisis, is trying to deal with a lot of diplomatic acumen, as the Kingdom has shown a lot of calmness and patience accompanied at the same time with diplomatic firmness in its dealings with the Spanish government after receiving the leader of the separatist Polisario Front who is accused of committing war crimes and gross violations of human rights in coordination with the Algerian intelligence services.
The Professor also considered that the Spanish government is trying today to hold Morocco responsible for the human tragedy that occurred in the occupied city, which it considers within the scope of its borders, in the double standards in partnership with Morocco, believing that it is a selective relationship, explaining that whenever it comes to conspiring with Algeria and the Polisario, the Spanish government forgets about Morocco, but when it comes to immigration or terrorism, they remember the Kingdom as being a strategic partner.
On a different note, Benhammou stated that we should pay attention to Margaritis Schinas’ statements that Europe “won’t let itself be intimidated by anyone”, as is the case for the crises caused by the northern neighbor, which increased in intensity after the American recognition of the Moroccan Sahara, and the increasing strategic roles which Morocco has played both regionally and internationally, under the wise leadership of His Majesty, and therefore becoming a force to be reckoned with at all levels.
He pointed out that the best evidence for that is the recent contact between the US Secretary of State in charge of Foreign Affairs with his Moroccan counterpart, considering that the partnership with Morocco is a strategy and its role is pivotal in finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In this context, he considered that the northern neighbor “is still living in bygone eras where it could influence the stability of other countries and interfere in their internal affairs, directly or indirectly”, stressing that what Spain does not understand is that Morocco cannot be a custodian of anyone’s interests, nor will it accept to be a “gendarme guarding the borders of any country.”
Benhammou concludes that Morocco is a country that respects its responsibilities towards its partners when there is a mutual responsibility that has clear foundations and objectives, and is known for its rational stances, but when it comes to the strategic interests of the kingdom, we do not accept duality and ambiguity in stances.