Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, Oct 29, 2012
Moroccans have been taken aback on Monday after Morocco World News published a news story in which it reports that Moroccans are exempted from visa to enter Spain.
While many Moroccans contacted by Morocco World News welcomed the idea of exempting Moroccans from applying for a visa to enter Spain, a number of them expressed their disbelief and dismissed the idea that the agreement will apply to all Moroccans.
Article 2 of the agreement signed between Morocco and Spain in early October says that “Moroccan citizens holders of a service passport” will be exempted from a visa to enter Spain. Yet, the phrase “service passport” remains vague, as it does not specifically says if all Moroccans who hold a valid passport will benefit from the provisions of this article, or only diplomats and businessmen.
It remains to be seen if the disposition of this agreement will apply to all Moroccans regardless of their social status, or only to diplomats, businessmen or people of the higher middles class. The phrase “pasaporte de servicio”, which could be translated into “official or valid passport”, could be open to different interpretations.
The most plausible interpretation could be that Morocco will issue a new type of passport that will be used by a restricted category of the population (diplomats, parliamentarians, businessmen, university professors, public servants, doctors, etc) who will qualify to enter Spain without applying for a visa.
Article 5 of the agreement says that “Within thirty (30) days from the date of signature of this Agreement, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Morocco will exchange, through diplomatic channels, copies of the respective current service passports.”
Only a statement by the Moroccan authorities is likely to dispel doubts about the scope of application of this agreement. So far, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued any statement in this regard.
As things stand right now, this information has to be taken with caution, until all the details of the agreement under consideration are revealed by the Moroccan authorities, and especially that Spain is part of the Schengen countries. Any measure aiming at exempting Moroccans from visa can’t be taken without a common agreement with all countries that belong to this area.
Under the Schengen agreement, transiting from one country to another within the Schengen area is done without border controls. In the event Spain granted an exemption to all Moroccans, this would allow them to visit other countries without applying for a visa.
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