Spanish prime minister to visit Morocco

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will today make an official visit to Morocco. Sanchez will convene with Moroccan Prime Minister

Spanish PM morocco

Photo: AP

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will today make an official visit to Morocco.

Sanchez will convene with Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani to co-chair a bilateral meeting in Rabat. Topics will likely include the two nations’ maritime borders as well as ongoing migration trends. Morocco’s claim over coastal city Dakhla in Western Sahara overlaps with the Spanish Canary Islands and its surrounding waters. Both ministers will look to reach an international maritime legal agreement concerning the 100 kilometres that lie between the Moroccan coast and the Canaries.

Also to be addressed is the rise in Morocco-EU migration, of which the Canary Islands are a principal entry point. The Canarian government reported roughly 12,700 incoming undocumented migrants this year, and this number will likely climb in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Expect Madrid and Rabat to seek consensus over immigration policies to minimise security risks exacerbated by this year’s trends. Spain recently upheld a law allowing for “express” deportations of undocumented migrants entering through North African exclave cities Ceuta and Melilla. Thus, Rabat is likely to demand its own right to turn away non-Moroccan emigrants who are sent to its own borders.

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