Spain wants to involve NATO in its crises with Morocco and Algeria

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The next NATO summit will not be exclusively reserved for the war in Ukraine. Spain, the host country of the event, is seeking to wrest military support from members of the Atlantic alliance in its political crises with Morocco and Algeria.

Spain is hosting an ordinary NATO summit on June 29 and 30. In Madrid, the participants will have to adopt a document called "NATO 2020-2030", dealing with the risks faced by members of the military organization.

The Sanchez government intends to take this opportunity to propose to include in this "collection" of threats: "blackmail through irregular immigration" for political purposes and "the suspension of gas and oil supplies". An inclusion with serious consequences for NATO, in particular in its relations with the countries responsible for these "threats".

This idea is strongly defended by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, reports this Wednesday the daily El Mundo. The head of diplomacy has been in the promotional campaign for his project for weeks. He also called, on June 9 during his participation in a forum organized in Madrid, "not to forget the southern flank (of Europe)", mainly warning against "the absolutely unacceptable political instrumentalization of energy supply, jihadist terrorism and irregular migratory flows to put pressure on our sovereignty".

Morocco and Algeria, in the crosshairs of the Spanish proposal

For his part, the head of government, Pedro Sanchez also warned of the threats awaiting the southern wing of NATO in a speech delivered on May 25 at the Davos Forum. “For Spain it is very important that the NATO summit in Madrid sends a strong message to its southern flank. We have to face the security challenge on the eastern flank, but also the security problems on the southern flank,” he said.

The new Spanish strategy essentially targets Morocco and Algeria. The kingdom has already put pressure on Spain by activating the irregular immigration card. Witness, moreover, the exodus of thousands of Moroccans, on May 17 and 18, 2021, to Ceuta. Massive arrivals, in just two days, while Moroccan-Spanish relations were mired in a serious crisis, following the conditions that surrounded the hospitalization, in April of the same year, of the leader of the Polisario, Brahim Ghali, in Spain.

Algeria is also learning to play the same card. Iberian media make the link between the increase in the number of irregular migrants from Algeria arriving in the Balearic Islands and the announcement, on March 18, of Pedro Sanchez's support for the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara.

Since the formalization of this support, Algeria has also threatened to suspend its gas and oil exports to Spain. Threats made openly by senior representatives of the Algerian government, such as: the Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohammad Akrabthe Secretary General of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chakib Rachid Kaidand the Algerian ambassador accredited to ItalyAbdelkrim Touahria.

In two weeks, the Spanish proposal will be adopted or rejected by the members of the Atlantic alliance. As a reminder, since June 2004, Morocco has enjoyed the status of major ally of the United States outside NATO.

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