Spain reunites with Morocco after a year of estrangement

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On a visit to Morocco on Thursday, April 7, the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, was received with great fanfare, first by his counterpart, Aziz Akhannouch, then at the royal palace in Rabat, where King Mohammed VI invited to an iftar in his honor, the meal that closes the breaking of the fast at nightfall, during Ramadan. An undeniable gesture of friendship, in the eyes of Moroccans, which had benefited, eight years earlier, the King of Spain, Felipe VI.

After more than ten months of diplomatic crisis, it was a question of staging reconciliation and the beginning of a “new stage” of relations between Morocco and Spain, according to the joint declaration adopted at the end of the meeting. This turnaround, which the two countries had previously called for in a press release, has resulted in the first concrete measures, foremost among which is the “immediate and gradual” opening of the maritime borders, closed in March 2020, officially for cause of the Covid-19 pandemic. This interruption had been extended by Morocco in the midst of the diplomatic crisis between the two countries in the spring of 2021. The announcement should meet the expectations of some three million Moroccans residing abroad who return to their country during the summer season, traditionally by using maritime links with Spain, but also port and tourist operators, suffocated by this closure.

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