Spain may regret recognising the Moroccan claim on Western Sahara

Prime Minister Sánchez travelled to Morocco on April 7 Credit: La Moncloa flickr

SPAIN may regret recognising the Moroccan claim on Western Sahara which whilst resolving relationships with that country may have serious consequences with regards to the importation of liquid gas from Algeria.

To say that there are significant tensions between Morocco and Algeria is to understate the situation and much concerns the Western Sahara which came to a head when a political deal was struck between the Trump Administration and Morocco.

In return for Morocco agreeing to improve relations with Israel, the Americans recognised its claim on Western Sahara which upset the Algerian leadership who are known to be pro-Palestine.

The deal with the Maghreb-Europe Gas pipeline which ran from Algeria through Morocco to Spain expired in October 2021 and the Algerians declined to extend it, thus cutting Morocco (and by extension Spain) off.

There was some panic within Spain which had already seen huge leaps in the cost of energy but this was resolved as the Algerians promised to pump more gas through a separate direct pipeline to Spain.

Following the Spanish recognition of Morocco’s claim on Western Sahara (which the Spanish say is in accordance with UN resolutions as well as other EU member states such as France and Germany), the Algerians recalled their Ambassador from Madrid and are still considering their position.

If the situation isn’t resolved then Algeria could decide to reduce or suspend the supply of natural gas to Spain and even though new deposits have been found in Morocco, it will take some time to bring them online.

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