The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, defended this Tuesday the need to clarify what happened last Friday in the assault on Melilla that left more than twenty immigrants dead before “attribute responsibilities” and point to Algeria, as Morocco has done.
“You will not find me on the side of those who attribute responsibility without knowing what has happened,” The minister has maintained in an interview on Antena3 collected by Europa Press, after being asked if, like Morocco, which has attributed the violent assault to Algeria’s “deliberate laxity” on its border, he believes that Algiers has had something to do .
In this regard, he stressed that “Both Morocco and Spain we are showing that we want to clarify what happened” hence the fact that both the Moroccan Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Spanish Ombudsman have opened an investigation. For this reason, he has asked to wait until “we are clear about the facts.”
On the other hand, Albares has avoided describing what happened on Friday as an attack, although he has emphasized that an avalanche of 2,000 people like the one recorded “is something very difficult to manage and channel.”
Thus, he recalled that what it is about is protecting the border and the citizens, in this case those of Melilla, for which he once again praised “the collaboration of the Moroccan security forces” to deal with the problem and also the “extraordinary work” of the Spanish security forces. Without them, he stressed, “it would be impossible to control and defend that foreign border.”
As for the lack of empathy that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has been criticized for his initial reaction, the Foreign Minister has assured that what happened “it moves us all” and he has vindicated the actions undertaken by the Executive against immigration and the “empathy” that Sánchez has always shown, according to him.
Thus, Albares has emphasized that immigration is “a very complex phenomenon that no country, not even the most powerful, can face alone”. For this reason, he has opted to “further strengthen our collaboration with Morocco and with the countries of origin and transit” and has argued that the involvement of the EU and the European Commission in this area is also necessary.
In another order of things, the Foreign Minister has categorically rejected that within the government coalition there is a pact of silence not to talk about what happened in Melilla, after the spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, prevented five times yesterday to the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, to pronounce on what happened. “Not at all”, she has affirmed, insisting that the Executive “is cohesive”.