Rabat – Pictures have appeared on local social media showing recent work underway on the border crossing between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
The pictures showing the makeover of the Ceuta border crossing have inspired hope in the local population, vying for an imminent resumption of activity, as the borders have remained closed since March 13, 2020.
The photos show Morocco’s efforts to upgrade and reorganize the border posts. Travellers will now be processed through a sheltered corridor. They also show three passport control booths, similar to ones found in Moroccan airports.
According to Ceutean media, similar works are underway on the Spanish side of the border.
Even though there is not yet any official word on the re-opening of the border crossing point, several media, both Moroccan and Spanish, have noted that the construction works might signal a resumption of activity.
Read also: El Othmani’s Statement on Ceuta, Melilla Puts Spain on Defensive
As for Ceuta, the Spanish enclave is working on opening new customs facilities as part of its “smart borders” project. The automated access points would allow cross-border workers to transit between Morocco and Spain without difficulties.
Trade in Ceuta has suffered up to 50% losses since the beginning of the pandemic. Many traders in the enclave have expressed their dissatisfaction with the border closure, lamenting the loss of informal trade.
Relations between the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and Morocco have been mired by uncertainty in the last month.
Speaking to Saudi television channel Al Sharq in December, Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said that Ceuta and Melilla are part of Morocco’s territory, adding that there will be a need to open discussion on their future with the Spanish government.
El Othmani’s statement sent shockwaves across Spain’s political landscape.
Meanwhile, conservative Spanish media and politicians have attacked Morocco for what they have called the “siege of Ceuta.”