Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares has spoken out among residents of the occupied cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the actual reopening of the customs office on the border of Melilla and Nador and the establishment of a similar centre at the “Trajal sebta” crossroads.
Albares said” the two centres would “definitely” open in January after meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Abroad Nasser Bourita on November 22-23.
Spanish government officials said that the Moroccan-Spanish agreement would confirm that the process would be “gradual and orderly”, breaking “totally” from the scene of the past and having been known for decades. He emphasized that he was referring to a live smuggling operation being carried out.
Likewise, Albares’s presence at the forum gave the minister the opportunity to explain why high-level talks between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Mohammed VI later this year were postponed.
Albares underscored King Mohammed VI’s “overcrowded” agenda and Pedro Sanchez, among other actions, blocked the meeting, which has not linked the two countries for seven years, underscoring its importance.
“This meeting will take place in early 2023,” said a Spanish official, without fixing a date, as Morocco’s foreign minister said.
Knowing that the event continues to cause much controversy in Moroccan-Spanish relations is linked to an attempt to force some 1,700 illegal immigrants into a fence occupied by Melilla last June, according to Albares news agency.
The Spanish official stressed that he did not raise the issue in his talks with Nasser Bourita, saying the Spanish government was “very transparent” on the issue and that the matter was dealt with in a timely manner in the Moroccan way. He also emphasized that he defended what was done. and on the Spanish side.
This is the third visit to Morocco by the Spanish Foreign Minister since warm relations between Morocco and Spain were restored in April last year, and he has met with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita many times abroad, and again in Spain. It is expected to be in the next few days.