The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, has stressed that Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish and therefore it is not necessary for Morocco to certify this at the summit that the two countries will hold this Thursday in Rabat.
“No country has to certify the Spanishness of Ceuta and Melilla nor that of Valladolid, Barcelona or Santiago de Compostela, they are Spanish, period”, Albares asserted emphatically when asked if this issue will be included in the declaration agreement that the two governments plan to sign at the summit.
During an event organized by the Club Siglo XXI, he insisted that the Spanishness of the two autonomous cities is not disputed by anyone and therefore “we are not going to ask anyone to ratify something that is obvious.”
In this sense, it has been referred to the reopening “normally” of the land borders with Ceuta and Melilla and also to the fact that last Friday a pilot test was carried out for the reopening of the Melilla customs and the opening of a new in Ceuta, where until now it did not exist, something “historical”.
Regarding this issue, he confirmed that the summit will serve to set the calendar for the final opening of customs, with an eye toward avoiding “certain things from the past” such as the so-called atypical trade.
“There are images that we do not want to see again, neither in the traffic of people nor in the traffic of goods” because “they are not worthy of the density and height that we want to give to our relations”, he stressed, insisting that both Spain and Morocco They want the passage of people and goods “to be orderly and gradual.”
No minister of Podemos
On the other hand, he has defended the importance of the High Level Meeting (RAN) this Thursday in Rabat, the first in eight years, noting that it will bring together more ministers than ever and will allow the signing of up to twenty agreements.
Government sources have indicated this Monday that there will finally be twelve ministers who will accompany the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, to Rabat, among whom, as previously mentioned, there will be none from United We Can.
Thus, the attendance of the first vice president, Nadia Calviño, and the third, Teresa Ribera, as well as the headlines of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares; Justice, Pilar Llop, Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; of Transportation, Raquel Sánchez; of Education, Pilar Alegría; of Commerce and Industry, Reyes Maroto; Agriculture and Fisheries, Luis Planas; of Culture, Miquel Iceta; of Science, Diana Morant; and of Inclusion, José Luis Escrivá.
The minister had already announced that the ministers who had issues to discuss with their Moroccan counterparts would go to Rabat. In this sense, the government sources consulted have clarified that in the event that an agreement must be signed by the portfolios headed by members of Unidas Podemos, Albares is fully qualified to do so, thus minimizing the importance of its absence.
Relationship with Morocco
Albares has defended the need for Spain to get along “in the best possible way” with Morocco, something that is well understood in Ceuta, Melilla, the Canary Islands or Andalusia.
In this sense, he has indicated that the main objective of the summit is to ensure that “this relationship is established on much more solid foundations” and that “they avoid those crises that Spain and Morocco seemed to have every ‘x’ years.”
Likewise, he wanted to make it clear once again, although without expressly citing Algeria, that Spain wishes to have good relations with all its neighbors and that these be based on “friendship, mutual benefit and mutual respect”.
As for the Sahara, the aforementioned government sources have pointed out that it will not be an issue that is included in the joint declaration, since it was already mentioned in the declaration of April 7 after the meeting between Sánchez and King Mohamed VI and the The government’s position remains the same.
The Foreign Minister has reiterated that what Spain wants is to “help unravel a conflict” that has lasted for almost five decades and therefore supports the mediation efforts between the parties being carried out by the UN special envoy for the Sahara , Staffan de Mistura.
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