Spanish interior minister to visit Morocco to discuss migration

Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska begins his official visit to Morocco today to meet with his counterpart, Abdelouafi

morocco migration

Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP

Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska begins his official visit to Morocco today to meet with his counterpart, Abdelouafi Laftit. Migration, on which the countries work closely, will take centre stage in today’s discussions.

Spain is one of the EU’s main entry points for migrants, so much so that a 2018 deal between Brussels and Rabat, in which Morocco received funds to set up migrant processing centres, saw undocumented migration drop significantly the following year. However, in the second half of 2020, figures once again spiked. The president of Spain’s Canary Islands appealed for help last week after 2,200 migrants arrived on the archipelago in a single weekend.

Grande-Marlaska’s visit is the most recent in his tour of North African nations as Spain seeks to improve bilateral cooperation in confronting irregular migration. As part of these efforts, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will also visit Morocco in December, the first such meeting since 2015.

Expect the ministers to lay the groundwork for a deal when Sanchez visits along the lines of the 2018 agreement. Madrid likely will push for Rabat to actively curb the number of migrants leaving its shores for Spain, for which Morocco will likely demand greater financial support.

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