Foreign policy requires consensus, by Jorge Dezcallar

The proverb says that hell is paved with good intentions. President Sánchez has returned from Morocco after a dinner in which King Mohamed VI has displayed all the hospitality that Moroccans are capable of offering when they want, and that is a lot. Sharing with Sánchez the night snack that breaks the Ramadan fast, the monarch He has undoubtedly wanted to compensate him for the loneliness and the disappointments that his spin on Western Sahara has produced in Spain.

Foreign policy must be based on consensus because otherwise it weakens, lacks stability and enters into contradiction with the existence of permanent interests of the State. It can be changed when these interests do so –and perhaps the dispute over the Sahara advises it–, but following the established guidelines that require consensus. And here there has been no consensus, but resounding disagreements that have been highlighted in the non-law proposal adopted in Congress that has made clear the painful solitude of the PSOE in this matter. This weakens us as a country and leaves the presidential trip to Rabat untouched because it inspires mistrust.

What can happen if one day Vice President Yolanda Díaz or Mr. Núñez Feijóo governs? Will they maintain this change or will they return to the position that we have maintained for the last 47 years? Serious countries don’t do these things. But it is also that the president has exceeded his powers, because in accordance with article 69 of the Constitution, the setting of foreign policy corresponds to the Government and not to its president, whose functions are those of a prime minister, since Spain is not a presidential republic but a parliamentary monarchy. And neither the government nor the opposition were informed. Nor the parties that supported the investiture of Sánchez with a PSOE program that spoke of self-determination. They feel cheated and that is why the political class has reacted with indignation, and the citizenry, with surprise and uneasiness. They neither understand nor agree.

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And not because the idea of ​​autonomy proposed by Morocco is bad, on the contrary. It may be a good idea to resolve the dispute because it is halfway between the independence that the Polisario Front wants and the annexation of Crimea that many Moroccans want. Because I am convinced that Morocco will never hold a referendum, And besides, no one will impose it. And because I also believe that there will never be an independent Sahara against the Canary Islands in an area of ​​the world, the Sahel, where problems increase with each passing day. The only drawback of the autonomy proposal lies in the small detail that one of the parties does not accept it and consequently is outside the ‘UN’ legality which, let us not forget, requires a referendum or, at least, an agreement between the parties.

I have great affection for Morocco, where I was ambassador, and I firmly believe that a good relationship favors the interests of Spain and Morocco and that both of us will do better if the other does well. In this case, the turn taken by Pedro Sánchez in relation to Western Sahara will improve the environment with Morocco (while seriously worsening it with Algeria) and it is likely that Rabat will now control better the many small boats that leave Dakhla for the Canary Islands, that have experienced a sharp increase over the last year, or the assaults on the fences of Ceuta and Melilla (not to mention the “invasion” of Ceuta by 10,000 Moroccans -many of them minors- last May), or that will loosen the siege that has been in place for a couple of years over Ceuta and Melilla with the intention of suffocating them financially. All of this is positive, as will refrain from unilateral actions in the waters of Chafarinas or in the undelimited maritime zone between Morocco and the Canary Islands, and the restoration of normal communications between the two countries. What is hard for me to accept is that we reward Morocco for not doing what he should never have done in the first place. Because the impression given by Mr. Sánchez’s change of position is that he has yielded to pressure from Morocco, and giving an image of weakness is an infallible formula for having problems in the future. I would like to be wrong.

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