Spain Calls for More Negotiations with Morocco on Maritime Borders

The foreign ministers of Spain and Morocco held a press conference on Friday, January 24.

Rabat – Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya said that although Morocco has the right to consolidate its maritime sovereignty, the kingdom must also “respect international conventions on maritime borders.”

In a press conference today, January 24, with her Moroccan counterpart, the Spanish minister emphasized that such decisions should not be taken “unilaterally.”

“The two countries should have more discussions on the issue to find a common ground,” Laya argued.

Spain Calls for More Negotiations with Morocco on Maritime BordersSpanish FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya.

In response to her statement, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita recalled that Spain made a similar move in 2010 with regards to the Canary Islands.

“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,” Bourita countered.

The Moroccan FM reiterated his statement about Morocco’s willingness to engage in dialogue to avoid any possible rift between the two neighbors.

“Morocco has dialogue and openness to negotiated solutions in its diplomatic DNA,” the minister maintained.

Prior to talks about the maritime borders, both officials expressed satisfaction with the present level of cooperation between the two countries.

“Morocco is proud of the security cooperation between the two countries, with serious joint efforts to curb terrorism, transnational insecurity, and organized crime,” Bourita stated.

For her part, the Spanish minister underlined that her presence in Morocco is a sign that the two countries are determined to maintain fruitful relations.

Laya added that Spain is always pushing EU members to support and cooperate with Morocco.

“Morocco is a source of stability for Spain,” she declared.

The minister also lauded Morocco’s role in the Libyan political process.

Like France and Bahrain, Spain supports Morocco’s peacemaking efforts, emphasizing that the country has proven itself to be a reliable actor.

Laya contended that Morocco deserves to have a say in the political process of its Maghrebi neighbor.

Recently, Morocco expressed frustration at its exclusion from the Berlin Conference on Libya held last week.

Earlier this week, France and Bahrain expressed support for Morocco, asserting that the Skhirat agreement should be the only basis to find a political solution to the Libyan conflict.

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