Spain and Morocco settle dispute, but for how long?
Madrid and Rabat have officially settled their diplomatic crisis. Morocco agreed to the repatriation of the immigrants that it had allowed to flee across its border to Ceuta and in exchange Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya resigned after taking responsibility for triggering the crisis by allowing a leader of the liberation movement in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara to be treated in a Spanish hospital.
Rabat must not become too dominant
The Spanish government must not allow itself to be blackmailed by Morocco, El Mundo warns:
“Morocco reacted unacceptably to the unfortunate incident with the Polisario leader by driving thousands of desperate people into the waters off Ceuta. ... To appease the Alawite king, he was offered the head of the inept foreign minister [Arancha González] Laya, and Rabat was given millions to manage immigration as well as security equipment. ... Of course harmony is essential. ... But it must be based on genuine trust, and not on the constant blackmail to which we are subjected by an authoritarian regime that is now more dominant than ever.”
The EU is also to blame for the fact that Spain is so dependent on Morocco, El País explains:
“Spain's geographical location and European immigration policy - or rather the lack thereof - make Morocco an indispensable ally in border control. Consequently, cooperation with a regime that is anything but democratic is vital. ... The important thing is that dialogue must never break down. The government has overcome a major stumbling block. It will now depend on its ability to keep relations going without renouncing its principles on issues like [the two Spanish exclaves] Ceuta and Melilla, the [Moroccan-occupied West] Sahara, and immigration.”