Morocco, Spain Taken Steps To Deepen Ties

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Social Morocco Ties
Social Morocco Ties

The Kingdom of Morocco and the Spanish government have taken steps to deepen the bilateral ties between the two countries following the visit of Mr. Pedro Sanchez, President of the Spanish Government to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the Rabat Royal Palace.

President Sanchez’s visit comes a year after the crisis that rocked relations between the two countries.

It marks the end of a crisis triggered by the hospitalization of the leader of mercenaries in Spain and the beginning of a new era based on mutual respect.

The reception accorded by the Sovereign to the Spanish Head of Government reflects the Sovereign’s personal involvement and His desire to go further in relations with the Spanish neighbour.

The head of the Spanish government participated alongside Mohammed VI in “breaking the fast” in this holy month of Ramadan, a very strong sign of friendship on the part of the Sovereign.

The visit followed a phone conversation between the two leaders as the Spanish Government takes steps to start a new phase in relations between the two kingdoms, based on transparency and mutual respect.

In his remarks during the visit, President Sanchez reaffirmed the position of Spain on the Sahara issue, considering the Moroccan autonomy initiative as the most serious, realistic and credible basis for resolving the dispute.

The two leaders reiterated their will to open a new stage in the relations between the two countries, based on mutual respect, reciprocal trust, permanent consultation and frank and loyal cooperation.

It was further agreed to implement concrete actions in the framework of a roadmap, in order to include, in the long term, the Moroccan-Spanish partnership within the framework of the new bases and parameters underlined in the Royal Speech of August 20, 2021.

The roadmap will cover all areas of the partnership, integrating all issues of common interest such as political, economic, security and culture. The two neighbours face the common challenges of immigration, in particular border control, terrorism and cross-border crime.

Some of the key issues addressed were the importance of the Sahara issue for Morocco, as well as Morocco’s serious and credible efforts in the framework of the United Nations to find a mutually acceptable solution; matters of common interest will be dealt with in a spirit of trust, in consultation, far from unilateral acts or faits accomplish and full normalization of the movement of persons and goods shall be restored in an orderly manner, including appropriate customs and personnel control arrangements at land and sea.

Others were passenger shipping between the two countries shall be restored immediately and gradually until all frequencies are open; preparations for the Paso del Estrecho/Marhaba operation will be initiated in the same perspective; the working group on the delimitation of maritime spaces in the Atlantic seaboard will be reactivated, with the objective of making concrete progress and discussions on the management of airspace will be initiated.

Additionally, cooperation in the area of migration will be reactivated and strengthened. The Permanent Spanish-Moroccan Group on Migration will meet soon; coordination within the framework of the respective presidencies of the Rabat Process, during the period 2022-2023, will be carried out in such a way as to highlight the exemplary cooperation between the two countries in this field, in favor of a comprehensive and balanced approach to the migration phenomenon and sectoral cooperation will be reactivated in all areas of common interest: economic, commercial, energy, industrial and cultural, among others.

The rest were the facilitation of economic exchanges and links between the two countries will be the subject of a meeting soon; the field of education, vocational training and higher education will be a priority in this new stage. A specific working group will be established for this purpose; cultural cooperation will be strengthened; the activity reports of the established or reactivated meetings and working groups will be presented at the High-Level Meeting and King Mohammed VI and President Sánchez, will appoint a committee in charge of the implementation of the present statement, within a period of 3 months”.

The visit of the President of the Spanish Government to Morocco is an important moment to consolidate this roadmap and to define the priorities of the next High-Level Meeting, to be held before the end of this year.

It was highlighted that a third of Spanish investments in Africa are made in Morocco, which is also the second economic partner of the Iberian country outside the European Union, while Spain is the first trading partner of the Kingdom.

The meeting during the visit was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, the Spanish Ambassador in Rabat, Mr. Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner, the Advisor to the King, Mr. Fouad Ali El Himma, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Mr. Nasser Bourita, and the Ambassador of the King in Madrid, Karima Benyaich.

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