Madrid vows to strengthen dialogue, cooperation with Morocco under its Foreign Action Strategy
This Strategy, presented to the Spanish Council of Ministers on Tuesday by Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya, underlines the need and the relevance of moving forward in the consolidation of dialogue with the countries of the Maghreb region, particularly Morocco.
The 100-page document also underlines the importance of the organization of regular political consultations with Morocco and the holding of high-level meetings.
The Strategy, which will be also presented to both chambers of the Spanish Parliament, emphasizes the importance of establishing “specific cooperation plans” with Morocco in areas of common interest.
“In the case of Morocco, our great southern neighbor and indispensable partner, the common will of our Governments is to continue enhancing the excellent bilateral relations and extend them into new arenas,” the document reads.
The document also emphasized the importance of the Morocco-Spain partnership, with Madrid seeking to expand cooperation in other areas, including parliamentary and entrepreneurial sectors.
The plan also seeks to strengthen cooperation against irregular migration.
“On migration matters, the plan is to continue to implement a comprehensive policy both in bilateral and regional contexts such as the Rabat Process, and support Morocco in its enforcement of new migration and human rights policy.”
Spanish officials frequently express satisfaction with Morocco.
Earlier this month, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who has long pleaded for furthering the “strategic” and “special” relationship between Rabat and Madrid, reaffirmed that Morocco is an essential partner for Spain.
“Such countries are fundamental to our interests,” Sanchez had said of Morocco.
He also expressed hope to see the pandemic end soon for the Moroccan-Spanish high-level meeting to take place.
The meeting was initially scheduled for December 17, 2020, but it was postponed to February 2021 due to COVID-19 crisis.
Under the Foreign Action Strategy which sets the broadlines of Spain’s foreign policy, the Iberian country plans to exercise an “active presidency” of the 5+5 Dialogue of the Western Mediterranean in 2021, as well as the organization of the 5th Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Promoting the EU’s southern neighborhood and the Union for the Mediterranean is also one of Spain’s priorities over the next four years.
With regard to sub-Saharan Africa, Spain vows to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the Sahel, support their economic and social development and their institution-building processes, and hold the 1st Hispanic-African Forum on sustainable cities.