Josep Borrell, former Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, visited Morocco several times, reflecting the importance of the cooperation between the two countries.
Rabat – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell said he is confident that Spain and Morocco will solve the maritime border issue.
The statement comes after Spanish foreign affairs minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya arrived in Morocco last week to discuss the North country’s African decision to redefine its maritime borders in the waters between Morocco’s Western Sahara and Spain’s Canary Islands.
Gonzalez’ visit comes after Morocco’s parliament approved two draft bills to delimit its maritime borders.
“I am completely sure that Spain and Morocco will be able to solve this problem by bilateral means” he said.
The former Spanish foreign minister said if “this is not the case, we will see what to do. But I trust that it will be resolved bilaterally,” he said.
The President of the autonomous government of the Canary Islands Angel Victor Torres on Saturday, January 25, shared the same vision after his visit with Gonzalez.
Torres described the meeting between Moroccan FM and Spanish official “enlightening and reassuring.”
“It is good that Spain and Morocco maintain their [strong] relationship. We have many strong ties and these relationships are key, for example, for security in this area of the planet and acting on issues such as migratory movements,” he said after his visit with the Spanish FM.
During her visit to Morocco last week, Gonzalez asked Morocco for the opening of a dialogue on the maritime borders question.
“The two countries should have more discussions on the issue to find a common ground,” she said on January 24.
In response, Morocco’s government said that it has full sovereignty to act alone without Spain’s approval.
“Spain had the right, as a sovereign country, to review its maritime borders. Like Spain, Morocco, too, has the right to revise its maritime borders. Just like Spain did not ask Morocco while making its move, Morocco is a sovereign country and does not need to get Spain’s approval before making its decision,” Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said during the press conference.
The minister maintained that Morocco, however, is ready to negotiate solutions to solve the matter.
Both FMs expressed satisfaction with the diplomatic relations they share and the Madrid-Rabat cooperation in several fields, including in the field of security and migration.
“Morocco is a source of stability for Spain,” said the Spanish minister.