Polisario to request observer status at Ibero-American summits after Colombia’s offer

Archive – Several people protest to demand the right of self-determination of the Saharawi people in Madrid – Ricardo Rubio – Europa Press

The Polisario Front has taken up the gauntlet of the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and has claimed its right to be part of the Ibero-American Summit, in the face of reticence such as that of Spain, which it has accused of continuing to be »Morocco’s spokesman» also in this type of forum.

The ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Zrug, has confirmed in an interview to Europa Press that they will request their incorporation as observers after the words of Petro, who on Saturday, during the plenary session of the Summit, claimed such status for the »Saharawi nation», which he considers victim of an »injustice».

SADR offers its »immediate willingness» to »reciprocate this invitation» and has shown its »gratitude» and »full agreement» with the Colombian president, although the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, already tried to limit the words of the Colombian president on Saturday to point out that only internationally recognized states can be observers.

Moreover, in order to be an ‘observer’, it would be necessary that the 22 countries that currently make up the Ibero-American Summit endorse the request, a unanimity that Morocco obtained at the time.

For Zrug, Albares’ statement was »regrettable» and »unfortunate», »unless he believes that the Ibero-American Summit is Spain». In this sense, he recalled that most of the »brotherly» countries of the region maintain diplomatic relations with SADR, with which they share historical, cultural and linguistic ties.

The ambassador affirmed that Albares sets himself up »as spokesman of the Moroccan interests wherever he is» and that both he and the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, and the PSOE seek »to make invisible and unfeasible» the »legitimate aspirations» of the Saharawi people, which include, among other issues, the self-determination of the former Spanish colony.

Representing Morocco today certainly does not dignify», added Zrug, who identified Albares as »spokesman» of Moroccan interests. He recommended him to »reflect» after scandals such as the alleged bribes to members of the European Parliament.