The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current high representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, traveled earlier this month to Equatorial Guinea, a country in which, since leaving the Government, he worked as a commission agent for Spanish companies with interests in the old Spanish colony.
The former head of Spanish diplomacy was received on April 9 by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, in the People’s Palace of Malabo, in the presence of the Minister of Commerce and Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs practically during the same period in which Moratinos exercised this position in Spain.
After this meeting, Moratinos told the media of the country -according to the website of the Equatoguinean Government– that “Equatorial Guinea can serve as an ideal platform to address some issues of mutual interest, especially in what is dialogue, culture and religious diversity” and asked for “the support and participation of Equatorial Guinea in the fight against terrorism, where prevention is very important for the Alliance of Civilizations”. The next day, Moratinos was received by the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Bonifacio Mitogo Bindang.
Since leaving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010, Moratinos made numerous trips to Equatorial Guinea to lobby for some Spanish companies -as well as former Defense Minister José Bono-, some tasks that have been publicly recognized. by Obiang himself.
Moratinos and Bono accompanied former President of Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in July 2014 during a trip to Malabo where he was received by Obiang, just a week after the then Chief Executive, Mariano Rajoy, made an official visit to the country. Equatorial Guinean capital.
The presence of José Bono and José María Moratinos was justified, at the time, by their business lobbying efforts. However, at the same time, Obiang instructed the former foreign minister to exercise his mediation to ensure that Equatorial Guinea was accepted as a full member in the Ibero-American Summits, a goal that is not easy due to the opposition of some countries. Equatorial Guinea is, for the moment, an observer member, like the Philippines.
At the end of 2014, Moratinos recognized The Diplomat who had met with Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias – better known as Pequeño Nicolás – in a Madrid restaurant to talk about the possibility of promoting a Spain-Equatorial Guinea Council, an idea that, according to the minister’s judgment, “could take place” because it allowed “to bring together the big companies and that there is a good understanding and a good relationship”.