Ceuta and Melilla are two enclaves of sovereign Spanish territory along the coast of Morocco. King Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain have stirred up a hornet’s nest by visiting Ceuta and Melilla.
According to Reuters:
Morocco hits out at enclaves visit by Spanish king
Morocco’s King Mohammed slammed Spanish King Juan Carlos’s visit to the disputed North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla saying it hurt the feelings of the Moroccan people and may imperil the future of bilateral ties.
In a rare statement, read by his adviser Mohamed Mouatassim at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the king said:” We emphatically condemn and strongly denounce such an unprecedented visit, a counterproductive step that hurt the deep patriotic feelings of the whole Moroccan people.” Juan Carlos made his first visit to Ceuta on Monday and Melilla on Tuesday since becoming king in 1975.
Last week, Morocco, which claims the two enclaves, recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultation in protest at the king’s trip.
“Facing this nostalgic act of a dark era which had absolutely gone, we had no option but to shoulder the responsibility of the consequences which may imperil the future and the evolution of the links between the two countries to the Spanish authorities,” King Mohammed said.
Remember, Ceuta and Melilla are “disputed” in the same way that the Falkland Islands are “disputed”: that is, they once were claimed by another country, but are now in the possession of a different country, and the majority of their inhabitants are citizens of the country that owns them.
Rabat has recalled its Madrid ambassador for consultations over the visit, with Prime Minister Abbas el-Fassi on Monday comparing the Spanish “occupation” of the enclaves with the “colonial” situation of the Palestinian territories under Israeli rule.
And ANSAmed has more details:
Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas al Fassi yesterday compared the situation in Ceuta and Melilla to that of Palestine occupied by Israel, inviting Spain to “understand that the time of colonialism is finished forever” and that the two cities must return to their motherland through “direct negotiations”. The conservative Spanish press replied today by rejecting the comparison with Palestine. But the observers are wondering about the dimensions of the crisis with Morocco, while waiting for the speech which king Mohamed VI must utter tonight, on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the ‘Green March’ organised in Western Sahara by hundreds of thousands of Moroccans, wanted by Hassan II with the purpose to force the Spanish to leave the colony.
There’s one other thing we all should remember: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and many other Arabs of the Wahhabist persuasion consider Spain — Al-Andalus — to be “occupied territory” as well.
These Salafists are anxiously awaiting the reversal of the Reconquista.
Hat tip: insubria.