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Morocco and Spain demonstrate their good neighbourliness in cooperation against illegal immigration

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, praises Morocco's contribution to the fight against irregular migratory flows
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FOTO / ARCHIVO  -   José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain

Morocco and Spain continue to take steps towards ending the diplomatic crisis that began with the entry of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali into Spain. In a latest move and on the occasion of the royal reception, the King of Spain, Felipe VI, reached out to Rabat in order to "materialise" relations with Spain based on "strong and solid" pillars.

This diplomatic rapprochement has been clear evidence of Spain's willingness and openness towards Morocco, something that has been demonstrated not only by the Spanish Royal Court but also by the government. In this case, in an interview granted to diario.es, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, pointed out the good strategic relationship between the two kingdoms in the fight against illegal immigration. 

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PHOTO/Casa de S.M. el Rey  - General view of the Throne Room during His Majesty the King's address

Leaving aside the fact that the Moroccan ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, has not yet returned to her duties in Madrid, Albares highlighted the solid cooperation that Spain and Morocco maintain in this area, pointing out that "during the Christmas period alone, in an interval of around 15 days, more than 1,000 people were prevented from crossing the fence".

The minister indicated that this impediment would have been very difficult to achieve without Moroccan collaboration, "which makes it a strategic partner for Spain and also for Europe". When referring to his Moroccan counterpart, Naser Bourita, Albares said that their relationship "is very fluid, and he is probably the foreign minister in the world with whom I have the most conversations and contacts".

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REUTERS/JON NAZCA  - Migrants run towards the fence separating Morocco from Spain, after thousands of migrants swam across the border, in Ceuta, Spain, 19 May 2021.

This close relationship between the two men demonstrates the intention to continue cooperating and building relations based on solidity. According to the Spanish minister, cooperation "is on the right track", and he explained the history that unites the two kingdoms, stating that it is "a rich and complex relationship in the best sense of the word, with a web of interests and different aspects that we must take forward".

On the other hand, referring to the speech given last August by the Moroccan king, Mohammed VI, Albares pointed out "the many positive aspects" that were defended in the speech, since the monarch showed his desire to build a new relationship with Spain in which "trust and mutual respect" prevail.

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FOTO/ ARCHIVO - Mohamed VI, King of Morocco

In this context, Minister Albares defended avoiding any type of unilateral action that would destabilise "mutual trust" since, he said, "sooner or later we will take the necessary steps to consolidate this 21st century relationship", something to which the King of Spain himself also referred in the context of "finding solutions to the problems that concern our peoples".

The Spanish minister went on to defend diplomacy as a tool capable of resolving international disagreements, adding that "diplomacy requires time and sometimes patience, but it is always worth it".

Thus, in this area, it is hoped that Morocco and Spain will continue to strengthen ties with the aim of building relations that are necessary for both kingdoms. Since Ghali's departure from Spain to return to Algeria, both kingdoms have tried to make moves in an exercise that prudently seeks to continue bringing positions closer together in order to achieve the complete reconstruction of diplomatic relations that have already proven to be necessary and irreplaceable.