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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Morocco's intervention to reopen the El Guergarat crossing was necessary after the exhaustion of diplomatic efforts, director of the Spanish magazine specializing in Maghreb affairs "ATALYAR", Javier Fernandez Arribas, said on Wednesday.


In a statement to MAP, during a visit by a group of journalists and human rights actors from Spain and Mexico to the El Guerguarat border post, Arribas noted "that after having given diplomacy and dialogue a chance, Morocco was obliged to act to guarantee the free movement of goods", saying that the Kingdom's intervention was peaceful, in the sense that it did not cause any injuries, and successful after the restoration of movement between Morocco and Mauritania.


After stressing that the issue was linked to the freedom of movement, Arribas said that closing the border post was "absolutely an unacceptable" behavior.


He said that Morocco's policy concerning the Sahara is "clear" and that "the autonomy initiative launched by HM the King remains the most applicable solution".


"Spain must take a step forward to be part of the solution", he said, noting that this solution must be peaceful and negotiated making it possible to end a conflict which does not serve anybody, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.


"Any agreement between Algeria and Morocco is likely to give new impetus to the building of the Maghreb and its relations with the European Union," he added.


Regarding the recognition by the United States of the full sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara, Aribas stressed that this is a very important gesture that would encourage other countries to follow in the US's footsteps.


In a similar statement, president of the Observatory for Human Rights of Catalonia Ricard Checa stressed that this visit was an opportunity to see firsthand the normal flow of traffic through this crossing, while highlighting the importance of keeping this crossing open, since the closure of a border crossing has negative effects on countries in the region.


Checa expressed his "dismay" at what is happening in the Tindouf camps, in particular terrorism and the lack of respect for children's rights, adding that Spain and the international community must ensure protection of children and liberties.

 

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