José Manuel Albares: Spain Must Maintain “Best Relations” with Morocco

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, stated, Wednesday, that Spain must maintain “excellent relations” with Morocco, given the two countries’ common multidimensional interests.

“We must maintain the best relations with Morocco, a country with which we share several challenges,” stressed Albares, who was the guest of “La Noche en 24 Horas” program. 

According to the Spanish official, “Relations with Morocco must become a mutually-beneficial state policy,” highlighting the deep-rooted ties between Morocco and Spain in numerous areas.

Over 6000 Spanish companies export products worth 12 billion euros to Morocco, and 1200 Spanish companies are present in Morocco either directly or through their subsidiaries,” noted the Spanish Foreign Minister. 

In a similar context, Albares added that “judicial and security cooperation allows the dismantling of the jihadist networks threatening the two countries and to fight human trafficking, highlighting the contribution of Moroccans residing in Spain to the socio-economic development of our country.”

Albares also praised the positive results of the management of the migration issue between Rabat and Madrid, stating that in the first quarter of 2023, the arrivals of irregular migrants dropped by 63% in the Canary Islands, while they witnessed an increase of 95% and 300% in Greece and Italy, respectively.

In this sense, Albares made a positive assessment of the new stage that started between the two countries a year ago, stressing that this new stage is based on ”more solid principles.

On this occasion, the Spanish official reiterated the Spanish government’s clear and unequivocal position towards Morocco, adding that this position is expressed in the declaration of April 7, 2022, and in the joint declaration of the 12th Morocco-Spain High-Level Meeting in Rabat.

“This position is based on collaboration, mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, the absence of unilateral acts, and responsibility,” affirmed Albares. 

Based on the new roadmap, adopted on April 7, 2022, on the occasion of the visit of the Spanish Prime Minister to Morocco, at the invitation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the two countries are committed to addressing issues of common interest in a “climate of trust and consultation,” while resuming the working groups established between the two countries to boost bilateral multi-sectoral cooperation.

Morocco and Spain held, on February 1 and 2, the 12th session of the Morocco-Spain High-Level Meeting, which was marked by a joint declaration expressing the two countries’ desire to strengthen bilateral relations and the signing of several agreements related to fields of common interest.

The two parties signed several cooperation agreements in several fields, including migration management, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, environment, agriculture, vocational training, social security, transport, health security, and research and development.

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