Albares announces that there will be a High Level Meeting with Morocco before the end of the year

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Albaresand its Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Burita, have met this Wednesday in New York and have agreed to hold a High Level Meeting in Rabat before the end of the year. An act that has not been organized since 2015.

The meeting has served to “design the next steps” within the framework of the new stage in the relationship that inaugurated Sánchez’s visit to Rabat last April and to reaffirm the will to organize the high-level meeting, according to what has been advanced Eph.

Both have announced the “normalization of the traffic of people and goods by land and sea” Starting next January. Although they were apparently referring to commercial traffic with Ceuta and Melilla -the only land borders-, neither of the two ministers mentioned the two cities, historically claimed by Morocco, by name at the meeting held at the Moroccan permanent mission to the UN.

Minister Albares said that this passage of merchandise would be done “through the land customs posts throughout the month of January”, which would imply opening Customs offices, which do not exist in both cities (the one in Melilla was unilaterally closed by Morocco in 2018, and the one in Ceuta never opened).

When Minister Burita was specifically asked if the opening of these customs offices in those two Spanish cities had been agreed upon, he avoided the answer and limited himself to saying that both countries work together “for the return to normality in an effective waycoordinated and rapid passage of people and goods by land and sea”.

Apart from this issue, Albares congratulated himself on the course of relations with Morocco and gave two examples: Spanish exports in the course of 2022 have grown by 30% compared to the same period last year, totaling 6,000 million dollars, and the entry of irregular immigrants was reduced by 20% in Spain in the past four months compared to the previous summer.

Even so, the two ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, “particularly on the Atlantic façade,” said Albares, referring to the wide Atlantic coast that also includes the coasts of Western Sahara controlled by Morocco and from where the entry into the Canary Islands takes place.

In words after this meeting, Albares also referred to the situation with Algeriawith whom Spain has frozen relations, and ruled out meeting with his Algerian counterpart – as he did last year – taking advantage of the coincidence of both in New York to participate in the UN General Assembly.

He only said that Spain expects from Algeria “a relationship based on friendship, mutual respect and non-interference”, but insisted that this relationship must be the same as with any neighbor: “We do not want anything different with Algeria than what we have with other neighbors.

“We work every day to build that relationship (…) Spain has an outstretched hand” to Algeria, he concluded.

Source: Elespanol

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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