Moroccan & Spanish MPs Meet in Madrid to Step up Bilateral Cooperation

The 4th Moroccan-Spanish parliamentary forum opened Thursday in Madrid to look into ways of reinforcing cooperation and dialogue between MPs of the two neighboring countries.

The Moroccan delegation is led by Speaker of the House of Representatives Habib El Malki & Speaker of the House of Councilors Hakim Benchemas, while the Spanish delegation is headed by Pío García Escudero (Speaker of the Senate) and Ana Pastor (Speaker of Congress of deputies).

Moroccan-Spanish talks during this forum will focus on several issues of common interest, particularly in the political, economic, social and cultural fields.

The agenda features debates on politics & security, economic cooperation, mobility & migration, cultural cooperation, development, the respect of the States’ sovereignty, the consolidation of democratic institutions, decentralization and regionalization.

Participants will also review Moroccan-Spanish contribution to sustainable development in the Euro-Mediterranean basin, the challenges and opportunities of migration and the role of parliaments in enhancing cultural dialogue.

Rabat hosted the 1st Moroccan-Spanish forum convened in 2012, the second was held in Madrid in 2013, while the third forum was organized in Morocco in 2015.

Spain remains among Morocco’s top trading partner. In 2016, trade exchanges reached $10.6 billion up from $9.3 billion in 2015. Between 2015 and 2016, Morocco’s imports from Spain rose from $4.4 billion to $6.2 billion, while its exports to the country jumped from $4.2 billion to $5.1 billion.

Spanish officials describe neighboring Morocco as “a friend, a partner and an ally” of Spain in the war against terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

They also hail the efficiency of cooperation set between Madrid and Rabat in this field. The solid cooperation set between Moroccan and Spanish security services, which carry out joint anti-terror operations, has led to the arrest of several jihadist cells threatening the region’s security and stability.

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