For stability in Europe, the EU must show more support for Morocco’s “important efforts” on migration and security.
Rabat – Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said that his country’ ties with Morocco are strong and strategic, calling the North African country a “special ally” for Spain.
Sanchez made his remarks in an interview in the May-June edition of Politica Exterior, leading Spanish magazine on foreign policy.
In the interview, the Spanish PM stressed the strategic nature of the diplomatic ties between Madrid and Rabat. He particularly cited cooperation on “topics of shared interests” such as migration, anti-terrorism, and economic cooperation.
“The economic and human dimensions of the Morocco-Spain relations” mean that, besides being “good neighbors,” the two countries “enjoy friendly and very close ties in many fields.”
While pointing out in the interview that there are other countries in the Mediterranean and Maghreb that are also “geographically close to Spain,” Sanchez said Morocco deserved “a special mention” for the strength and “strategic significance” of its partnership with Spain.
“Morocco is an essential partner for Spain and for my government.”
In news reports, agreements on external borders security and intelligence sharing are usually the most recurring talking points of the Madrid-Rabat cooperation.
According to Sanchez, however, the success of the countries’ cooperation lies in a balanced blending of many other aspects. In addition to security and economy, the two allies put an equal emphasis on the human side of their cooperation.
“Progress and prosperity in Morocco are determining for stability in the Mediterranean and in Spain,” he said.
The point was a reference to the human factor of the emerging Euro-African agenda on migration that stresses the need to invest in socio-economic prosperity in origin and transit countries to curb the irregular migratory flow to Europe.
The EU recently promised Morocco €140 million to assist the country’s efforts on migration. But statements from Moroccan officials have indicated that months since Brussels pledged the new package, nothing has yet bet delivered.
Sanchez said Spain will throw its weight behind Morocco to ensure that the country gets the entirety of the funds and logistic support Europe promised, noting that Morocco’s “important efforts on migration need to be supported.”