The Spanish and Moroccan Foreign Ministers were able to see each other for a brief meeting this Friday morning. The meeting between Albares and Bourita took place on the sidelines of the fifth edition of the Paris Peace Forum.
According to a brief communication from the teams of the two ministers, the meeting in Paris was an opportunity to advance some details in preparation for the high-level meeting planned for early 2023. This high-level meeting is part of the joint roadmap that the Spanish and Moroccan governments have committed to progressively formalise in April 2022.
The progress of the objectives set out in the joint roadmap was brought forward when Bourita and Albares appeared together in front of the media during the UN assembly debate on 22 September of this year. At the same time, the ministers also mentioned the implementation of customs in Ceuta and Melilla, in the midst of a fierce controversy over the Moroccan government's letter to the UN denying the existence of land borders with Spain.
It is difficult to extract from Morocco any statement or step forward that would distance it from its nationalist pretensions over the two Spanish autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. The first dates given for the high-level meeting were postponed to 2023, as was the case with the opening of customs in the Spanish enclaves in North Africa.
The last high-level meeting between Spain and Morocco was held in 2015.