The Spanish government also denied they had an agreement with Morocco to send rescued irregular migrants back to Morocco.
In Thursday’s press conference after the weekly government meeting, El Khalfi said that there is no agreement between Rabat and Madrid allowing Spain to return migrants rescued in the strait or in the Mediterranean to Moroccan ports.
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El Khalfi said that the “information is false.”
El Khalfi’s denial comes after statements from Spanish Secretary of State for Security Ana Botella, who also refuted that the Spain and Morocco signed this agreement.
The statement was a response to an article posted by Spanish outlet El Pais, which quoted three government sources who claimed there was an agreement, which was in line with the good diplomatic ties between the two countries.
According to their sources, the measure would apply to migrants found in missions where Spanish rescue services are operating in maritime zones under Morocco’s security control.
In response, Botella said that Salvamento Maritimo, a Spanish rescue operation, “will continue to transport migrants to Spanish ports.”
She added that migrant rescue operations by Spain and Morocco in the strait and the Mediterranean are collaborative and in respect to the competences of each country.