The diplomat Jose Manuel Albares He arrives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with many tasks ahead of him. The most immediate is to close the diplomatic crisis with Morocco that has been going on for three months when the leader of the Polisario Front was admitted to hospital in Spain, Brahim Ghali.
The so-called ‘Ghali case’ begins to be prosecuted in a Zaragoza court and may lead to accusations of some members of the investigation team. Arancha González Laya, a situation that made untenable the continuity of the minister.
In addition, he seriously compromises the new diplomatic destiny of his Chief of Staff, Camilo Villarino, What ambassador to Russia. The Government requested its approval from Moscow in June but it remains to be seen if the Russian authorities will grant it and, above all, if Albares will bring Villarino’s appointment to the Council of Ministers.
Pedro Sánchez preferred to drop Laya, giving the feeling that Morocco has achieved the head of the head of diplomacy due to the bilateral crisis. But the alternatives were few. The crisis has entered a phase of “glacial cold”, as noted Vozpópuli recently, and there is a lot of concern in Spanish diplomacy.
First trip to Rabat
Albares will surely take advantage of his appointment to choose Rabat as your first trip abroad. A common practice of its predecessors and that supposes a gesture that has always been very well received in the neighboring country. This visit is now more necessary than ever to be able to resume the dialogue with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasir Burita |.
One question to be revealed is whether the Moroccan ambassador, Karima Benyaich, will return to Spain despite his harsh statements against the Government at the beginning of the crisis or if, on the contrary, both countries will agree to send new ambassadors since the head of the Spanish legation in Rabat, Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner, has extended his mandate and has just completed six years in that destination.
The new foreign minister will also need to open new channels with Washington after the fiasco of the first meeting between Pedro Sánchez and Joe Biden at the last NATO summit and that stayed in a ‘paseoillo’ of about twenty seconds.
That diplomatic failure was personally managed with the White House chief of staff by Ivan Redondo, who demoted the international area at Moncloa when Albares left the post to become ambassador to France.
A situation that will foreseeably change from Moncloa neither a bilateral meeting nor a phone call with Biden has been achieved since the latter won the elections in November last year. A fact without precedents in bilateral relations between Spain and the United States.
Within the Ministry, diplomats are urged to approve the new regulations of the Diplomatic Career since the Supreme court annulled in November 2017 the one he had drawn up two years earlier Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
The friendship between Sánchez and Albares
Albares He was already in the pools a year and a half ago to direct Foreign when the coalition government was formed, although it was the ‘covered’ Laya who took the appointment. Finally, he was sent to Paris after spending almost two years in Moncloa as chief diplomatic adviser of Sánchez.
The new head of diplomacy has been the head diplomat of Sánchez. Person of the maximum confidence of the President of the Government, with whom he has been friends since they met in the Madrid socialist youth groups, directed the international area in La Moncloa after the triumph of the motion of censure.
In recent weeks he has been traveling to Madrid regularly, especially on weekends. And there is an element that had not gone unnoticed in Laya’s department. Sánchez commissioned Albares a few months ago the foreign policy presentation that will be approved in the federal Congress of the PSOE in October.
So the impulse of this policy, that so many want abroad, will now pass through your hands. A few minutes after Sánchez announced his appointment, he stressed on the networks that “there is no greater honor than representing Spain abroad“.
Source: Vozpópuli by www.vozpopuli.com.
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