It has been two months since Spain’s leftist government altered its position on the Western Sahara, conforming to the wishes of the U.S. (both Trump and Biden), to strengthen Moroccan claims over that territory. The fallout, however, continues to make itself felt, most notably in the souring of relations with Algeria, long-term rival of Morocco and supporter of Western Saharan independence.
On the 8th of June, the very day in which Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was (belatedly) explaining his administration’s decision to concede to Moroccan claims on the Western Sahara, Algeria broke all commercial ties with Spain. The move accompanied Algeria’s decision to void the 2002 Spanish-Algerian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
For his part, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, reiterated that Algeria is a trustworthy partner that has provided Spain with “assurances,” but these comments contrast with the concrete impact of the Algerian position.