José Manuel Albares, the minister who relaunched Sánchez’s international image and lost the international story to the ‘procés’

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When Pedro Sánchez was elected general secretary of the Socialist Party, José Manuel Albares abandoned his position as advisor in the Paris Embassy to help his friend. A card-carrying socialist, Sánchez appointed him Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the PSOE. This loyalty was rewarded with the position of ambassador to France, one of the great dreams of the diplomat, who had previously passed through other countries, and, later, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the most important position to which a member of the Diplomatic Corps can aspire. From today, Albares renews the mandate at the head of Foreign Affairs, without the pressure of inheriting anyone’s portfolio and with the certainty of working with Complete trust With the president, “he almost never says no to his proposals,” they say in those around him.

Why Albares has been responsible for relaunching the international image of Sánchez. He rose to fame in those images aboard the Falcon, in which he exchanged impressions with the newly elected president. Later, when Morocco demanded the head of Arancha González Laya to begin to close the crisis caused by the humanitarian reception of Brahim Ghalileader of the Polisario Front, Albares was called up and put in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a priority mission: to direct the relationship with the Alawite kingdom.

And Albares took office on July 12, 2021, in August the king Mohamed VI He acknowledged that he wanted to “inaugurate an unprecedented stage” in bilateral relations between the two countries. Spain Seven months later, Rabat made public a letter from Sánchez in which he changed Spain’s position on the Sahara and stated that Morocco’s autonomy option is the “most serious, credible and realistic” option to resolve the conflict. Furthermore, he managed to organize the High Level Meeting and for the trade balance to exceed the historical maximum of 10,000 million euros.

But the change of position on the Sahara It also provoked great criticism from the opposition. Furthermore, although the points agreed upon between Morocco and Spain have been implemented, they are very far from operating normally, such as the reopening of customs. The normalization of relations with Morocco at the expense of the Sahara also caused the complaint from Algeria, who called his ambassador in Spain for consultations. However, last week a new diplomat from Africa’s largest country was granted the spot.

In this legislature, one of the minister’s challenges will be reconstruct the story about Catalonia that the diplomatic corps can sell abroad. Because the work that diplomats assigned abroad carried out for five years, dedicated to dismantling the accusations of independence propaganda against Spain, loses all meaning after the agreement of the amnesty law proposal. In fact, diplomats expressed their discomfort in several statements.

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