RABAT - Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad dine El Otmani called Sunday the hospitalisation of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali in Spain under a false identity a “scandal.”
Otmani said it was “very strange to see that a pseudo-president presented at the head of a puppet republic, which has mock embassies and ministers, cannot travel with a real passport.”
“This is proof, if any, that his so-called RASD republic is a puppet,” Otmani told a gathering of his party of Justice and Development.
“All the recent triumphalist statements sent by the separatist party show that in reality these are false allegations…Morocco is within its rights and on the right track,” he added.
Ghali, who is sued for war crimes and violations of human rights, entered Spain with a false Algerian identity for medical treatment, prompting Rabat’s strong condemnation.
The Moroccan Foreign Ministry summoned Spain’s Ambassador to Rabat Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner to provide clarification over Madrid’s reception of Ghali and demanded the necessary explanations on the attitude of his government.
Spain’s move is likely to trigger a political crisis with Morocco and affect their cooperation on several issues, especially illegal immigration and war on terrorim.
Spanish victims of terrorist acts perpetrated by Polisario separatists demanded on Saturday the immediate arrest of Ghali, who was admitted to a hospital in Logrono, near Zaragoza.
“Ghali is accused of "assassinations of Canarian workers" in the territory of the Sahara, as well as of being "the sponsor who ordered the assassinations, collective kidnappings and disappearances of crews of Canarian sailors in the high seas during the period from 1973 to the end of 1986,” said the Canarian Association of Victims of Terrorism (Acavite).
Otmani called on his party's activists to make the national cause one of the priorities of their political debate, to mobilize and support the efforts of official diplomacy through sustained popular diplomacy.