Madrid, February 3, 2012 (MAP)
Madrid, February 3, 2012 (MAP)
Morocco and Spain on Friday reiterated their commitment to strengthen their distinguished relations in various fields and to push these ties to a higher level in the interests of both countries.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad Dine El Otmani and his Spanish peer Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo reaffirmed both countries’ commitment to boost cooperation in political, economic and cultural areas.
Speaking at a press conference after their meeting in Madrid, the two ministers voiced both countries’ willingness to maintain the pace of ongoing consultation meetings on issues of bilateral, regional and international order.
El Otmani qualified the Moroccan-Spanish relations as “profound,” adding that the points bringing together Moroccan and Spanish peoples are more numerous than those of divergence.
“We are currently laying a solid-based foundations for the future (of these relations) and we have the firm will” to continue on this path, he said, adding that his talks with his counterpart Spanish focused on several issues of common interest in different areas.
In the political field, the Moroccan minister said the two sides reaffirmed their determination to inject new impetus into political dialogue between the two countries, recalling, in this regard, the decision taken, during the recent visit of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to Morocco, to hold the next high-level Moroccan-Spanish joint committee during the current year.
There will be a good preparation for this senior-level meeting from all departments concerned to ensure success, said El Otmani.
Economically, he said Morocco wants more Spanish investors to set up operations in the country, underlining that the Moroccan government will work to resolve any difficulties that may slow the momentum.
Regarding bilateral cooperation in the security field, El Otmani said Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, will, soon, pay a working visit to Morocco to address all the security issues of common interest.
He also indicated that both parties have focused on the special interest taken by the two governments to strengthen cultural relations.
Referring to the current situation in some Arab countries, the Moroccan minister noted that the Kingdom, which managed to undertake significant political reforms, can be considered “a model” in the region.
“We recognize that much remains to be done towards the consolidation of political and democratic progress,” he observed, noting the great efforts made by the Kingdom to strengthen the democratic edifice.
The Moroccan experience in this field “contributes, without doubt, to ensuring the stability of the region,” he said.
Responding to a question about Morocco’s position regarding the fisheries agreement with the European Union (EU), El Otmani noted that Kingdom remains open to any dialogue about the accord.
On the Morocco-EU Agriculture Agreement, the Moroccan minister said he hopes the ratification by Parliament of the agreement and that all parties are working towards this goal, stating that “Morocco wants a positive outcome for its relations with the EU in the interest of both parties.”
For his part, Garcia-Margallo noted that the intensification of cultural relations between Morocco and Spain was the focus of the talks, adding that the “Casa Mediterraneo” and the Cervantes Institute will devote much of their efforts to achieving this goal.
The Spanish Minister announced, in the same direction, the holding of a meeting between Moroccan and Spanish parliamentarians to strengthen relations between the parliamentary institutions of both countries.
Regarding the security aspect, Garcia-Margallo said bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism was among the topics discussed, explaining that the two sides agreed to establish cooperation “that will goes beyond the aspects of security and immigration control.”
“We will make greater efforts in the field of fighting against drug trafficking,” he added, in the same context.
The Spanish minister also indicated that relations between Morocco and the EU were discussed at the meeting, adding that Spain works to ensure that these relationships can make “a qualitative leap.”