The new security agreement between Spain and Morocco builds on the one signed in 2019

This treaty of mutual cooperation in the fight against illegal activities was agreed three years ago, coinciding with the visit to the Alawi kingdom of the Spanish monarch, Felipe VI

AFP/ BLASCO DE AVELLANEDA  -   Police officers guide a detainee out of the police station during an anti-jihadist operation in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, 6 September 2017.

Morocco and Spain plan to activate a new agreement on security and the fight against crime between the two zones. It is due to come into force on 30 April. But although it seems that the treaty was created after Pedro Sánchez's visit to the North African nation on 7 April, the content of the document was already signed several years ago.

The alliance was conceived three years ago. Its constitution coincided with the visit of the Spanish monarch, Felipe VI, who travelled to the Kingdom in 2019. During his stay, among other things, he met with the Alaouite King Mohammed VI. At this event, a parade of ministers from the two countries was held, where the Spanish Minister of the Interior and his Moroccan counterpart agreed on this treaty. At that time, Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Abdelouafi Laftit signed this agreement, which was intended to benefit both parties in this area.

PHOTO/REUTERS - Moroccan special forces detain a man after an anti-terrorist operation in Temara, on the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco 10 September 2020

It is a document consisting of five pages and 15 articles, which promises to fight organised crime. Thanks to the signing of this agreement, Morocco and Spain will tackle problems such as terrorism and crimes against the environment. These, if necessary, may require funding to be paid jointly by the two countries. They will also cooperate on any other criminal activities that require mutual collaboration, such as the fight against drug trafficking.

"Spain and Morocco will inform each other about ongoing investigations into different forms of organised crime, including terrorism, its relations, structure, functioning and methods," confirms the BOE, the Spanish Official State Gazette.

mohamed vi-pedro sanchez-reunion
PHOTO/MONCLOA - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez meets with Moroccan King Mohamed VI at the Royal Palace in Rabat, Morocco, on 7 April 2022.

To set it up, a joint commission will be set up to ensure the proper organisation of this agreement. It will consist of three experts in the field from each country and will hold an annual meeting to examine cooperation. It will also hold an extraordinary session whenever one of the heads of state requests it. Furthermore, the document is indefinite and will remain in force as long as one of the countries does not renounce its continuation through diplomatic channels. If this is the case, it will cease to have effect six months later.

The signing of this document is based on the 1991 Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation. This was a document signed after the visit of the Spanish king emeritus to the Alawi country in 1989. His stay showed the will of the two parties to maintain good relations. This treaty was based mainly on respect for international legality, sovereign equality between the two nations, a commitment to non-intervention in the internal affairs of each region, as well as a non-aggression pact and the condition that, if any convenient situation arose, it would be settled by peaceful means of conversation. It was also agreed to respect human rights and fight against injustice, as well as to cooperate in transmitting the culture of both sides. 

AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit (R) meets with his Spanish counterpart Fernando Grande-Marlaska in Rabat on 20 November 2020.

However, this treaty came to a standstill after Brahim Ghali, the secretary general of the Polisario Front, was received in Spain. But now, with the establishment of new relations, the two governments have declared that the document needs updating. "Discussions will begin on updating the Treaty, on the basis of the principles, parameters and priorities that should guide their bilateral relations in the years to come," the two countries confirmed in a joint statement.

A meeting is expected to be held in early May in Rabat with the presence of the two parties' secretaries of state for the interior, foreign affairs and migration to begin modernising the agreement.

On the occasion of the resumption of new diplomatic relations between Morocco and Spain, different types of cooperation methods are being activated as a sign of the good understanding between the two countries. This is due to the Spanish government's decision to support the Moroccan cause of Western Saharan sovereignty and Pedro Sánchez's visit to the Kingdom. Following this event, the two countries are now in full cooperation.