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Transferring airspace from the Sahara to Morocco: the Spanish opposition is on its way

Transferring airspace from the Sahara to Morocco: the Spanish opposition is on its way

In Spain, opposition is being organized against the project to transfer control of Sahrawi airspace to Morocco. After what was revealed by the Iberian media about secret meetings between Rabat and Madrid devoted to discussing this issue, mobilization increased slightly.

Representatives from the Popular Party warned of the loss of 372 jobs among air traffic controllers at the Gando Air Traffic Control Center in the Canary Islands, if Spain cedes this privilege to Morocco. This figure was announced following a meeting held on Thursday, March 7, between People's Party parliamentarians and representatives of air traffic controllers.

They expressed their regret at being excluded from the negotiations between Morocco and Spain. “The unionists did not obtain information on this matter from the director of the public company in charge of air traffic control, Ener,” Media reports from the archipelago.

In parallel with this mobilization of the Popular Party deputies, Senator Victor Armas, who belongs to a small group demanding the independence of the island of El Hierro, which is geographically located within the Canary Archipelago, directed questions to the government related to this project.

A common front is being formed

For its part, Independiente newspaper confirms that the transfer of control over Sahrawi airspace does not enjoy the support of Pedro Sanchez’s allies in the government and parliament. Sources within the far-left Somar coalition, on condition of anonymity, expressed their opposition to the project. They said: “We reject Moroccan sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, its territorial waters and its airspace.”

The same applies to the Canary Coalition, the party that voted in favor of Pedro Sanchez's nomination to head the government. Under the seal of anonymity, the right-wing party referred to “the transfer that does not respect international law and United Nations resolutions.” But the two party bodies did not make their support for Pedro Sanchez conditional on stopping discussions on this issue with Rabat.

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“Spain and Morocco have agreed to start negotiations on cooperation in airspace management, on issues such as air traffic safety or communications. Sources in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Independiente that these negotiations are continuing.

For your information, José Manuel Albarez explicitly confirmed that Morocco and Spain are negotiating to control the airspace of Western Sahara. The head of diplomacy explained: “There is a point in the Joint Declaration (April 7, 2022, editor’s note) that is public and relates to improving management, and this is what we are doing.” In an interview Awarded in mid-January to Elperiodico de España. Point 7 of Joint declaration In fact, a Moroccan-Spanish company announces that “discussions will be initiated on airspace management” between the two countries.

The mobilization against this project is reminiscent of the opposition that brought together the right, the extreme left, and Catalan and Basque separatists, against Pedro Sanchez’s support for the Moroccan plan for autonomy in Western Sahara.