Morocco condemns Spanish accommodating attitude vis-a-vis Polisario activities
Morocco-Spain, Politics, 11/26/2001
Morocco has condemned the Spanish officials' accommodating attitude towards the activities of the Polisario.
Commenting on the expulsion Saturday from the Spanish territory of newsmen and members of the Moroccan Sahara Association, Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, told the Moroccan TV channel 2M that Morocco voices amazement and condemnation of the treatment reserved by Spanish officials to the activities of the Polisario, while they ban any action on the part of Moroccans.
"Sometimes, we are so shocked by the escalation in Spain regarding our territorial integrity that we come to think that Spain has become a second Tindouf" (stronghold of the polisario in South-western Algeria), Benaissa said.
The delegation members were first taken for questioning by Spanish security agents, were publicly searched down town Seville before they were firmly invited to immediately quit the Spanish territory.
The 13-member delegation, including four newsmen, flanked by security agents, were forced to go back to the port of Algesiras aboard their vehicles. All along the road from Seville to Algesiras, Spanish security agents relayed to escort them.
Benaissa underlined "Spanish officials will realize the enormity of what happened Saturday in Seville and the seriousness of this act on our aspirations to establish relations of friendship, cooperation and neighborliness between Morocco and Spain."
On Saturday, Benaissa held phone talks with his Spanish peer, Joseph Pique, and conveyed him the Moroccan government's "strong protest" following the treatment inflicted on the Moroccan delegation and the measures adopted against its members, describing this unfriendly measure "an act of blatant, unjustified and unjustifiable hostility vis-a-vis Morocco and the whole Moroccan people."
Chairman of the Moroccan Sahara Association, Mohamed Reda Taoujni, denounced, in a statement to reporters Saturday upon return to the Moroccan northern port of Tangiers, the arbitrary expulsion of the Moroccan delegation and the biased stand of Spanish media, which side with the Polisario mercenaries.
He said the Moroccan delegation has been disappointed by the behavior of some Spanish officials and NGOs, which charged the delegation members with "intellectual terrorism" merely because they back the UN decisions confirming the Moroccan identity of the Sahara and Morocco's right to perfect its territorial unity.
He announced that his association will shortly undertake a European tour to explain the reality in the Tindouf camps where the mercenaries are violating human rights and practicing the worst forms of exaction against the Moroccan Sahrawis. He also announced his association plans to open bureaus in all European capitals.
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