Albares: Spain must maintain ‘the best relations’ with Morocco

Given the wide-ranging interests the two nations have, Spain must have “the best relations” with Morocco, according to José Manuel Albares, the country’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

“We must maintain the best relations with Morocco, a country with which we share many challenges,” emphasized Albares, who appeared as a guest on a show on the Spanish television network “24 Horas” on Wednesday night.

The diplomat emphasized the close links that bind the two nations in all spheres, saying that “relations with Morocco must be a state policy implemented for mutual benefit.”

A million Moroccans reside among us and contribute to the economic and social development of our nation, according to the head of the Spanish business association. “More than 6,000 Spanish companies export goods worth 12 billion euros to Morocco, 1,200 Spanish companies are established directly or through their subsidiaries in Morocco, cooperation in judicial and security matters allows to dismantle jihadist networks threatening both countries, and we fight against mafias active in human trafficking.

The minister praised the effective management of the migration issue between Rabat and Madrid and noted that, in the first quarter of 2023, the number of irregular migrants arriving in the Canary Islands decreased by 63% while rising by 95% and 300%, respectively, in Greece and Italy.

In this regard, Albares gave a favorable evaluation of the new phase that was initiated between the two nations a year ago, stating that it is founded on “more solid principles.”

The Spanish government’s stance on Morocco is unmistakable and unequivocal. The Declaration of April 7, 2022 and the Joint Declaration approving the 12th High Level Meeting both convey this position, according to the Minister.

This position is founded on cooperation, respect for one another, abstinence from meddling in other people’s internal issues, and responsibility,” he said in summary.

The two nations are committed to, among other things, addressing issues of mutual interest in a “spirit of trust and consultation,” while reactivating the working groups established between the two nations to revive multi-sectorial bilateral cooperation, in accordance with the roadmap, which was adopted on April 7, 2022, in celebration of King Mohammed VI’s invitation for the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, to visit Morocco.

Morocco and Spain emphasized their resolve to uphold the superb ties that have always brought them together and reaffirmed their determination to further them in the Joint Declaration released at the conclusion of their 12th High-Level Meeting, held on February 1 and 2 in Rabat.

A number of cooperation agreements were struck during this time between the two parties in a number of areas, including control of immigration, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, environment, agriculture, vocational training, social security, transportation, health security, and research and development.
Read Also: Pedro Sanchez: Morocco, ‘friendly’ country and ‘fundamental ally’ for Spain’s security and development

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