The minister’s statements were made on Tuesday in Madrid after he met with Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo, who has been expressing his concerns over the Moroccan government’s authorization for an Italian energy company to carry out offshore oil and gas exploration.
In an effort to avoid possible tensions between the neighbors, Dastis stressed that he is “in permanent contact” with Moroccan officials in order to avoid any “misunderstandings and surprises,” reported Spanish news outlet Euro Press.
Speaking about Spanish-Moroccan diplomatic ties, Dastis emphasized that all topics relating to Moroccan-Spanish relations are treated in a spirit of, “good neighborliness and common interests.”
In December 2017, Morocco’s National Bureau of Hydrocarbons and Mines signed an agreement with Italy’s ENI for offshore operations near Tarfaya. The agreement raised the concern of some in the Canary Islands due to the close proximity of Moroccan waters to the islands which depend heavily on tourism.