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Spain’s position over Western Sahara, Sanchez Government’s individual stance

The president of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Algeria considers Spain’s position over Western Sahara as an individual stance by the government of Pedro Sanchez.

In an interview granted to the Qatari news channel, broadcasted on Tuesday evening, President Tebboune said: “We consider Spain’s position towards Western Sahara as an individual stance by the Sanchez government”, underlining that Spain government had forgotten its role as a former colonial power in Western Sahara and that it still bared responsibility towards resolving the issue.

He said, in the same context, that “trade between Algeria and Spain is ongoing and most of the trade is carried out by the private sector in both countries”.

“We have practically reached the point of no return,” said Tebboune, who became president in 2019 after the resignation of longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Our position is a response [to Morocco’s actions, we were never the ones who started the problem.”

Referring to relations with Italy, the Head of State said they were “strategic, historical and very solid, dating back to the time of the War of Liberation”, noting that the energy agreement with Italy “covers electricity, gas and hydrogen, and we are working to implement it in cooperation with Europe”.

Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, President Tebboune said that “Algeria is qualified to play a role of mediator in the Ukrainian crisis, Algeria being among the few countries with the necessary credibility to carry out this mission”, adding that “my visit to Russia is still on the agenda and will take place in May at the invitation of the Russian president”.

As for French-Algerian relations, the President of the Republic pointed out that ‘our relationship with France is fluctuating’, stressing that ‘the Algerian ambassador will be back in Paris soon’.

President Tebboune raised the Palestinian cause, which he described as a “central cause” and “an almost internal issue in Algeria”.

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