The date of the high-level meeting maintained on the same date announces Albares

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares announced that the high-level meeting between Morocco and Spain will take place at the end of January or beginning of February, underlining a “new momentum” in bilateral relations. Conversely, relations with Algeria are still difficult.

No more high-level meeting between Morocco and Spain has been held since 2015, without there being a crisis between the two countries. But since the end of the diplomatic crisis which has put a chill on relations between the two neighbors, the urgency of organizing this meeting has been felt.

In an interview granted to Europa Press, Albares indicated that the date of the meeting will indeed take place at the same period announced by Nasser Bourita.

The top “will mean a new impetus in a bilateral relationship that is extraordinarily beneficial for both”he said.

Albares announced that since the resolution of the diplomatic crisis with Morocco, trade has increased by almost 30% this year and the arrivals of migrants from Morocco have decreased.

Regarding the land borders, the Minister indicated that the land borders with Morocco reopened on May 15, but only to citizens of the European Union and with the authorization to circulate on the Schengen territory and that a second phase has begun. on May 31, which allowed access to “legally recognized cross-border workers”. However, the situation is not the same for the rest of Moroccans.

“There are images from the past that we don’t want to see again”, said the Spanish minister regarding the so-called “atypical” trade, otherwise known as the phenomenon of “mule women” at the borders. In addition, the customs of Sebta and Melilla will open in January in an “orderly and progressive” manner before the high-level meeting according to him.

The Spanish minister also addressed the issue of relations with Algeria in his interview, recalling that Spain had been maintaining “its outstretched hand” since Algiers suddenly decided to break its friendship treaty concluded in 2002 after the new position of Madrid concerning the Sahara.

Jose Manuel Albares recalled that the principle of non-interference in internal affairs was key in relations between the two countries. As a reminder, last March a diplomatic crisis broke out with Algeria, which suspended its friendship treaty in June and blocked trade relations with Spain to force it to change its position on the Sahara.

Spain wants a relationship like the one it has with its other neighbours, “based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs and guided by friendship”explained the Minister.

And to remember that“there are still commercial operations that remain blocked” between the two countries, and that each time an operation is blocked, Spanish officials send it to the European Commission.

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