The meeting between the Moroccan foreign minister and his counterpart sought to survey bilateral ties between Rabat and Madrid.
Rabat – The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Borrell has reiterated his country’s decision to reinforce the bilateral ties with Morocco at every event possible.
At a press conference held in Rabat, Borrell spoke about the “exemplary” Moroccan-Spanish diplomatic ties in “very sensitive” areas.
Borell, who met with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita on Monday in Rabat, said that the exemplary relations between Madrid and Rabat include very sensitive areas, especially the management of the migratory inflow.
Morocco and Spain have both faced pressure due to the flow of undocumented migrants between their borders. Spain has been also a pro-active voice for Morocco at the European Union (EU).
“For Madrid, relations between Spain and Morocco are not only bilateral but rather a matter of state policy and a truly strategic and global partnership,” the Spanish official said.
He also expressed his satisfaction with being in Rabat to think about the “future of relations between Morocco and the European Union,” emphasizing that Rabat turned its relations with the EU into a “structuring element” in its foreign policy and a “factor for economic and social development.”
Speaking about Spain’s support for Morocco at the EU, Borell emphasized that Madrid has always “stressed the strategic importance of Morocco for Europe.”
“Spain supports, with the authorities of the EU, the Moroccan ambitions to intensify the Moroccan-European relations in all areas.”
Echoing statements from his Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Borrell considers the EU’s financial contribution to Rabat to be insufficient.
“Spain urged the EU to support Morocco in facing the increased inflow of migrants, especially after the migration pressure shifted from the east to the west of the Mediterranean,” he said.
In addition to Borell, three Spanish officials urged the European Union to provide Morocco with multi-year financial aid to enable Rabat to deal with the pressure of undocumented migration.
In May, Spanish news outlet El Pais said that the officials include General Director of International Relations and Immigration of the Ministry of the Interior, Elena Garzón and Head of the General Commissariat of Foreigners and Borders, Juan Enrique Taborda.
In a press conference held in May, the spokesperson of the Moroccan government, Mustapha El Khalfi, announced that security services have thwarted more than 30,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019, compared to 88,761 of prevented attempts in 2018.
He also emphasized the importance of Morocco and Spain’s efforts to curb the issue, stating that the in the number of irregular migration attempts reflects the “great” effort of Morocco’s law enforcement forces against the issue of undocumented migration and the trafficking networks active in this area.
Morocco and Spain maintain good and strong diplomatic ties, which have been further improved after the Spanish royal visit to Morocco in mid-February, when King Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia visited Morocco.