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Viewing cable 06MADRID2809, SPANISH SEEK INCLUSION IN WESTERN SAHARA STRATEGY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MADRID2809 2006-11-02 16:04 2010-12-14 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO7785
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #2809/01 3061623
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021623Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1229
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3902
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT PRIORITY 1121
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 5978
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 2206
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0246
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 002809

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016
TAGS: PREL SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH SEEK INCLUSION IN WESTERN SAHARA STRATEGY

REF: A. STATE 150118

B. NEA READ OUT: A/S WELCH-SPANISH DG IRANZO MEETING

MADRID 00002809 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: A/DCM Josie Shumake for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: One month after the UNGA meeting between
Assistant Secretary Welch and MFA DG for Middle East/Africa
Alvaro Iranzo, Iranzo paid a call on the Ambassador October
26, saying he had sought the meeting at FM Moratinos'
request, to reiterate that Spain wishes to play a role in
U.S. strategic planning on Western Sahara. Iranzo asked
whether the GOS could anticipate a response to the non-paper
which he presented to A/S Welch at their UNGA meeting.
Foreign Minister Moratinos stuck to boilerplate language on
Western Sahara in recent testimony before the Spanish
Congress, and he denied a media report that Spain is
assisting Morocco in crafting their autonomy plan. Post
requests guidance on how to respond to MFA's non-paper. END
SUMMARY.

2. (C) MFA DG for Middle East/Africa Alvaro Iranzo called
on the Ambassador on October 26 to discuss Western Sahara.
He said his visit to the Embassy was at the request of
Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, and he repeated the
plea made to NEA A/S Welch at their September meeting in New
York for greater US-Spain coordination on Western Sahara.
Iranzo suggested that Spain and the U.S. coordinate prior to
bringing in other interested parties including the UK and
France. Iranzo said Spain welcomed the plan for a "technical
rollover" of the MINURSO mandate at the end of October but
wished it had some reference to a broader political framework
or negotiating strategy. In that respect, he mentioned the
non-paper he presented to A/S Welch in New York and asked
whether Spain would receive a response, as A/S Welch had
indicated. The Ambassador told Iranzo he would relay the
request to Washington. Iranzo asked for Ambassador
Aguirre,s support in pressing Washington for greater
coordination with Spain on this issue and said he had
appreciated the meeting with A/S Welch.

3. (C) Apart from this meeting, Iranzo called in PolCouns on
October 16 to convey the same message. PolCouns noted that
the U.S. had put forward a framework that included pressure
on Morocco to produce a credible autonomy plan and negotiate
directly with the Polisario as soon as possible - with the
continued threat that MINURSO rollovers would no longer be a
matter of course.

4. (U) On October 24, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel
Moratinos told the Congress of Deputies that the relevant
parties in the Western Sahara dispute must continue
negotiating and bring solution to the conflict. He said that
the Zapatero government "has tried, continues to try, and
will continue trying to find a definitive solution to the
Sahara problem that is just, politically and mutually
acceptable, and that permits the exercise of free
self-determination for the Sahrawi people." Moratinos said
he was sure that a consensus could be reached in New York if
the parties could agree on a plan. "What is missing is that
the parties need to find the will to negotiate a solution
within the structure of the United Nations and its principles
and resolutions." At a joint press conference on October 31,
Moratinos denied a report published in Moroccan magazine "Le
Journal Hebdomadaire" which claimed that Spanish jurists are
assisting Morocco in drafting its autonomy plan for Western
Sahara.

5. (U) Spanish interest in Western Sahara starts at the
top. The King and Queen will visit Algeria in early 2007,
and the King recently met with Morocco's King Mohamed VI.
The Polisario Front sent a letter to King Juan Carlos on
October 12 asking him to intervene on their behalf with the
Moroccan monarch. Mauritanian President Ely Ould Mohamed
Vall just made his first visit to Spain, along with a host of
ministers. His visit coincided with that of Algerian Foreign
Minister Mohamed Bedjaoui, though post is unaware of any
connection.

6. (C) COMMENT: The Spanish non-paper declares the
"unfeasibility" of any regionally acceptable solution while
Algeria and Morocco remain at each other's throats. It is
also clearly colored by and suggests a solution similar to
the approach which Spain has taken with its own region of
Catalonia. That is, abandoning "decolonization" vocabulary
such as sovereignty and independence in favor of
"globalization" vocabulary such as regionalization, autonomy,
and self-rule (page 9). Spain's reliance on Algerian natural

MADRID 00002809 002.2 OF 002


gas and on Moroccan labor, trade and CT cooperation puts it
in the awkward position of having to maintain good relations
with both nations. Spain's national interest clearly lies
with resolving this dispute, opening the Morocco-Algeria
border, and engaging a regionally integrated North African
economy. END COMMENT.

------------------------------------------
Visit Embassy Madrid's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/madrid/
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AGUIRRE