Upon arriving in Rabat on Wednesday, Dastis was received by his counterpart, Bourita, who engaged him in discussions ranging from trade, immigration, and tourism, to terrorism, the Sahara issue, and Monday’s massacre in Gaza.
In the meeting, Dastis sought Morocco’s opinion on the situation in Gaza. Bourita answered that the kingdom strongly condemned the violence of Israeli forces that cost the lives of over 50 Palestinians and wounded thousands.
On the Western Sahara issue, Bourita hailed Spain’s “constructive role” and efforts dedicated to finding solutions for the decades-long conflict, in a press conference following the meeting, reported state-owned press Maghreb Arab Press (MAP). Spain defended the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2414 in Morocco’s favor.
Bourita said Morocco’s autonomy plan has not yet been fruitful because the interested parties were not the “real” ones engaged in the matter. The plan was proposed by the kingdom to reach a solution in the Western Sahara conflict and deemed “serious and credible” by the UNSC.
Bourita added that Morocco is a fundamental partner for the EU, saying that the kingdom trusts that it can rely on Spain’s support to “help establish a privileged framework with the EU.”
During his meeting with Dastis, El Othmani acclaimed the strategic ties between Morocco and Spain, emphasizing that Spain is Morocco’s main trading partner and hailing the country for its continued support for Morocco on different levels.
El Othmani further noted that the relationship between Morocco and Spain is built on mutual respect, which has made Morocco a prominent economic partner for Spain.
Dastis praised the historical, political, economic and cultural links between the two countries.
Spain is one of Morocco’s main customers; total exports between the countries increased by 11.2 percent over the previous year alone.
With regards to countering terrorism, the two countries share a strong sense of cooperation, as they continue to work together to detect ISIS members in Morocco and Spain.
Recently, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), in collaboration with Spanish authorities, dismantled five active members of a terrorist ring allegedly connected to ISIS in a northern Moroccan city, Fnideq, and in Bilbao, Spain.