The Catalan President asks Morocco to give an autonomous regime to Western Sahara

Artur Mas, the President of the Catalan Government, met with the “State Minister” of the Moroccan Government, Mohamed El-Yazghi, who acts as a deputy prime minister. Mas recommended that Morocco build a pseudo-federal model, as was done in Spain, giving the Western Sahara some degree of autonomy.


February 24, 2011 11:36 PM

Barcelona (ACN). The President of the Catalan Government Artur Mas met today with the State Minister of Morocco, Mohamed El-Yazghi, who is a sort of deputy prime minister. Mas told El-Yazghi to copy the Spanish autonomous model in Morocco, giving the Western Sahara and other regions a certain degree of autonomy. Mas considers that “despite the deficiencies, it may be a way to follow” in the case of the Western Sahara. Mas thinks that the current Spanish autonomous model should be reviewed, especially regarding the fiscal redistribution and the self-determination right. However, since Catalonia’s situation is not like the Western Sahara’s, he thinks that this model could be good for Morocco. The negotiations about the Western Sahara’s future are blocked but a way out needs to be pushed for, according to Mas.

Artur Mas met with the Moroccan State Minister, Mohamed El-Yazghi, who was joined by the Kingdom of Morocco’s consul in Barcelona, Ghoulam Maichane. This meeting was part of the contacts Mas is making with diplomats about the situation in the region. The Catalan Government wants to keep a permanent dialogue and a smooth relationship with Morocco.

In the meeting, both politicians talked about the relations between Catalonia and Morocco, especially on economic terms. The most intense relations within Spain with Morocco come from Catalonia. Firstly, because it is in Spanish territory where most Moroccan citizens live, approximately 230,000. Secondly, because of the long tradition of economic and cultural exchanges. Most of the Spanish companies investing in Morocco are from Catalonia, as Mas emphasised. They focus especially on tourism and industry sectors.