Pedro Sanchez: Morocco, a Friendly Country, Fundamental Ally 

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, stated, on April 19, that Morocco is a “friendly” country and a “fundamental ally” for Spain’s Security and economic development.

“Morocco is a friendly country, a fundamental ally for the economic development of Spain, and our gateway to Africa. It is also a fundamental ally for our security and in the management of regular immigration in our country and in Europe,” said Sanchez before the Spanish Congress of Deputies. 

Sanchez also recalled that “Morocco and Spain adopted, in April 2022, a roadmap with clear objectives, which has resulted over the past year in a very positive outcome,” underlining that Morocco and Spain have entered “a new phase of cooperation based on a much more solid basis.”

The Prime Minister expressed, in this regard, his “conviction” that the objectives of the last High-Level Meeting, held February in Rabat, “have been largely achieved,” recalling that this meeting allowed the conclusion of a series of bilateral agreements.

In a similar context, the Spanish official recalled that since the signing of the Joint Declaration in 2022, sea and air links were resumed, Operation Marhaba successfully organized and discussions to re-establish the Tarfaya-Fuerteventura shipping relaunched, further praising the cooperation between the countries in the field of migration. 

Sanchez also praised the bilateral cooperation on migration, noting that the results of the “good management” of migration are “evident”.

“Currently, the Atlantic route is the only route in Europe declining in a context of increasing irregular migration to the European continent,” noted the Spanish Prime Minister, adding that in the first quarter of this year, 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 terms of economic and trade cooperation, Sanchez stated that the export level between Morocco and Spain approached EUR 12 billion (€) in 2022, noting that this number is steadily growing.

“For the first time in the history of our country’s democracy, we have a great opportunity to position relations between Morocco and Spain as authentic and mutually beneficial cooperation,” said Sanchez, stressing that “the strategic relationship with Morocco is based on mutual respect, absence of unilateral actions and systematic compliance with agreements.”

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.

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