Former Catalonia President: Ceuta, Melilla Are Not Spanish

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Rabat – The former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has raised the unsettled issue of the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco, stressing the need to open a dialogue on the two status of the two zones.

Puigdemont expressed his critical views in a series of tweets earlier today amid the ongoing diplomatic rift between Morocco and Spain.

“Morocco has the right to raise the question of sovereignty and it would be necessary to create a dialogue table to resolve the conflict,” Puigdemont tweeted.

The Spanish politician and journalist emphasized that such talks will lead to a resolution of the two countries’ disagreements.

“A dialogue between Spain and Morocco would be necessary to address the agenda of disagreements,” he added.

Read also: Morocco’s Ambassador to Spain: There Are Attitudes That Cannot Be Accepted

In a second tweet, Puigdemont addressed the European Union (EU) and called on it to not be driven by the inflammatory and zealous nationalism prevailing in some Spanish quarters.

“I hope that the EU is not driven by the Spanish nationalist flare-up,” Puigdemont said in his second tweet.

The former president of Catalonia said that Ceuta and Melilla are part of the EU only because of Spanish colonization.

“Ceuta and Melilla are two African cities, which are part of the EU only by inheritance of a colonial past which allowed Europeans to have possessions outside of Europe.”

Puigdemont’s remarks come three days after approximately 8,000 irregular migrants flooded Ceuta, sparking tensions between Morocco and Spain.

But the two neighbor’s spat long predates the crisis in Ceuta. Last month, Spain earned the wrath of the Moroccan government after news emerged of the hospitalization of Polisario’s Brahim Ghali in a Spanish hospital. 

For Morocco, even more unacceptable was the discovery that Spain actively coordinated with Algeria, Polisario’s main sponsor and the chief challenger of Morocco’s territorial integrity, to arrange for Ghali’s hospitalization.  

Meanwhile, Puigdemont’s tweet comes in the wake of the Spanish Council of Ministers’ approval of Madrid’s €30 million pledge to financially assist Morocco in its efforts to curb irregular migration.

Morocco cooperates with Spain on irregular migration management and security. The country’s cooperation costs it financial and human resources which puts it under mounting migratory pressure as it has turned from a transit country into a host country with thousands of sub-Saharan migrants.

Following the mass migration to Ceuta, Moroccans have launched hashtags to draw attention to Morocco’s historical legitimacy over the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

With hashtags like #Ceuta_and_Melilla_Moroccans or #Free_Ceuta_Melilla, many Moroccans have taken to social media to criticize Spain’s occupation of two historically and geographically Moroccan cities.

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