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The Spanish Foreign Minister asks NATO not to ignore “the threat from the south”

Spain warns NATO to focus more on the “growing threats from the countries south of the Mediterranean”, assured this Thursday, May 12, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Spanish Government, José Manuel Albares.

The Spanish minister is in the midst of talks on NATO’s next strategic concept, to be adopted in Madrid at the end of June, and the establishment of a 10-year roadmap for the alliance.

“Right now, Europe is threatened with the greatest challenge since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Albares said in a talk in Alicante, Spain, referring to the war in Ukraine.

“But this is not the only threat because Russia is also present in the south and other direct threats come from the southern flank of NATO,” added the diplomat.

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Albares said the threats “are hybrid” and include “the unacceptable political use of energy flows or illegal immigration to threaten national sovereignty.”

Spain reportedly experienced the political use of migratory flows last year, when Moroccan authorities allowed thousands of people to enter one of Spain’s African enclaves amid a diplomatic row.

Algeria, a key ally of Russia, has also threatened Spain’s gas supply due to Madrid’s diplomatic switch it adopted to appease Morocco’s demands.

Just a few days after meeting with the Global Coalition against Daesh/Isis in Marrakech, Albares assured that “the main conclusion of the summit was that the greatest terrorist threat on the planet right now has moved from Iraq to the Sahel, very close to Spain.” .

The Spanish minister added that the Sahel region is currently at a “critical point”.

Over the past year, the region has witnessed a record number of coups, while skyrocketing food and fertilizer prices due to the war in Ukraine greatly threaten the region’s food security.

“The Sahel is facing a vicious circle of poverty and violence, which we must try to break,” Albares emphasized. The official added that Spain’s international development efforts are focused on the region.

The Spanish foreign minister also stressed that Russian influence has grown in Africa.

See also: Algeria threatens to cut gas supply to Spain

This could be seen in the recent UN General Assembly vote to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, as of the 24 countries that voted with Russia against the motion, a third were from Africa, including key partners. like Algeria and Mali.

“NATO must also look to the south because guaranteeing security today is not only guaranteeing military security, but also human security,” assured the Spanish official.

*Aicha Sandoval Alaguna contributed to the writing of this article.

. . (HAS), ..

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