Various Spanish officials have come out to promote Spanish-Moroccan relations in recent weeks
Rabat – Spanish King Felipe VI this Thursday chose to highlight the “closeness and friendship” of his country’s relations with Morocco. The Spanish monarch invited foreign diplomats serving in Madrid to the royal palace for a reception where he spoke warmly of relations with Morocco.
“Spain’s relationship with the Maghreb countries is marked by closeness and friendship,” King Felipe VI told the assembled diplomats. He congratulated Moroccan diplomacy for its achievements in the Libyan peace process. Morocco’s efforts to realize peace in Libya “gives us the hope of seeing a fully stable and peaceful Maghreb,” the Spanish king stated.
King Felipe VI highlighted Spain’s increasing interest in the African continent as part of the country’s foreign policy. According to the monarch, Spanish diplomats see Africa “with an increasing weight which reflects the great opportunities which open on the continent.”
It is clear that Spanish diplomats are increasingly seeing Morocco as a partner in its renewed interest in the continent. The Spanish king welcomed Morocco’s recent rapprochement with Israel.
King Felipe VI highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had been a key reason for the temporary absence of diplomatic efforts between the two countries.
A hastily cancelled meeting in December gave the appearance of a diplomatic rift between the two countries after Morocco’s Head of State Saad Eddine El Othmani raised the issue of Ceuta and Mellia, the two Spanish enclaves in Northern Morocco. El Othmani’s remarks had prompted the Spanish government to summon Morocco’s ambassador to discuss their implications for ties between Spain and Morocco.
In recent weeks, however, Spanish sources have been eager to calm apparent tensions with Morocco.
King Felipe VI appeared to contribute to these efforts with his remarks on Thursday. “We hope that the health situation will soon allow us to resume the agenda of meetings with Morocco,” he stated. The king described Morocco as a “country with which we share common interests and challenges.”