Pedro Sanchez: Morocco, ‘friendly’ country and ‘fundamental ally’ for Spain’s security and development

The president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, declared on Wednesday that Morocco is a “friendly” nation and a “fundamental ally” for Spain’s security and economic growth.

Before the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Sanchez emphasized that Morocco was a friendly nation, a crucial ally for Spain’s economic growth and its gateway to Africa, as well as a crucial ally for security and the control of lawful immigration into our nation and across Europe.

“In April 2022, Spain and Morocco adopted a strategy with precise goals. The work done over the previous year has yielded a very positive evaluation in this regard, the head of the Spanish government stated, highlighting how the two nations have entered “a new stage on much more solid foundations.”

In this regard, Sanchez stated that he was “convinced” that the goals of the last High Level gathering, held in February in Rabat, had “largely been fulfilled,” mentioning how this gathering had made it possible to conclude a number of bilateral agreements.

The Marhaba operation has been effectively organized since the Joint Declaration was signed in April 2022, and discussions to reopen the Tarfaya-Fuerteventura shipping line have restarted, according to him. Sea and air lines have also been restored.

Additionally, Sanchez praised the two countries’ collaboration on migration, saying that it has produced “eloquent” outcomes due to “good management” of the problem.

The president of the Spanish Government stated that “today, the Atlantic route is the only route in Europe that is decreasing in context with the general increase of irregular migration to the European continent”, pointing out that in the first quarter of 2023, the arrivals of irregular migrants had decreased by 63% in the Canary Islands but had increased by 95% and 300%, respectively, in Greece and Italy.

In terms of economic and trade cooperation, Sanchez stated that exports between Spain and Morocco are expected to reach 12 billion euros in 2022 and that this tendency is steadily becoming more pronounced.

Sanchez emphasized that “the strategic relationship with Morocco is based on mutual respect, the absence of unilateral actions, and systematic adherence to agreements” and that “for the first time in the history of democracy in our country, we have the great opportunity to place relations between Spain and Morocco under the sign of a genuine and mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Based on the new roadmap, which was adopted on April 7, 2022, during Pedro Sanchez’s visit to Morocco at His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s invitation, the two countries are committed, among other things, to addressing issues of mutual interest in a “spirit of trust and consultation” and reactivating the working groups they established to rekindle multisectoral bilateral cooperation.

Read Also: Ceuta border between Spain and Morocco closed amid migrant crossing

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