Both Spain and Algeria have made a joint call for de-colonisation of the Western Sahara, saying a solution to the problem was long overdue.
Both Spain and Algeria have made a joint call for de-colonisation of the Western Sahara, saying a solution to the problem was long overdue. The two countries made their joint statement in a communique following a twenty-four hour visit to Algiers by Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez.
SYNOPSIS: The visit began on Monday (30 April). Senor Suarez was met at Algiers airport by Algerian Prime Minister Mohamed Benahmed Abdelghani. In a separate statement, Senor Suarez said a just solution of the Western Saharan question inevitably involved the self-determination of the people living there.
Spain handed over administration of the area -- a former Spanish territory -- to Morocco and Mauritania in 1976. Guerrillas of the Algerian backed Polisario Front have since been fighting for independence of the Western Sahara. The guerrillas have observed a cease-fire with Mauritania since last year, but are keeping up heavy attacks on Moroccan forces.
Senor Suarez also met the Secretary General of the Polisario, Mohamed Abdelaziz. Observers in Algiers said Spain had never taken a stand so close to that of Algeria and Polisario. However, Senor Suarez said later that he did not expect any changes in relations between Spain and Morocco. Spain, he said, sought peace and good understanding with all countries in north west Africa.