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Speech by President of the Government of Spain in his visit to Guardia Civil and National Police detachment in Dakar Port

Dakar (Senegal), Friday 9 April 2021

I would like to begin, without further ado, by thanking the State law enforcement agencies for your great work.

You are far from our country, yet each day, through your work and your commitment, you enhance the prestige of your country, of Spain, beyond our borders.

I also want to say that you have earned this prestige through a simple, yet complex, formula, which is collaboration, in this case with the Senegalese authorities, tackling on the front line, one of the main challenges facing Mankind, above all in the 21st Century, which is the fight against people trafficking and illegal immigration.

J'ai aussi le plaisir de saluer chaleureusement les autorités sénégalaises qui nous ont fait l'honneur de nous accueillir aujourd'hui dans les installations du port de Dakar et dont la collaboration avec la Guardia Civil et le Cuerpo Nacional de Policía je voudrais espécialement souligner.

(Translation: It also gives me great pleasure to warmly greet the Senegalese authorities that have honoured us by welcoming us today to these facilities at Dakar Port, and whose collaboration with the Guardia Civil and the National Police Force I would particularly like to highlight).

Since 2006, Spain has been committed to a migratory policy based on the principle of collaboration, because migration is a transnational challenge that requires collaboration from all parties and the development of a long-term collaboration strategy between the countries of origin, transit and destination.

This strategy has a priority goal, which is to manage the migratory phenomenon to make it safe, orderly and regular.

And the aim is none other than avoiding the loss of human life on the journey over, because we must not allow human rights, fundamental rights, to be violated by criminal groups.

This is why you have been deployed here - for security - but also from a humanitarian perspective.

Our experience has shown that this is the only way to offer an effective response to the migratory phenomenon. And to this end, I wish to underline that you play a key role in ensuring better border management, particularly at this time in which the health emergency of the 21st Century is having a tremendous impact from an economic, and also a social, perspective.

Since mid-2020, our country, Spain, has experienced growing migratory pressure that has forced us to strengthen our commitment to the fight against people trafficking networks, and hence, against illegal migration. These networks take advantage of the legitimate right of all human beings to a better life, with better expectations and opportunities.

It is there where you, our national police and Guardia Civil officers, the State law enforcement agencies, are our finest instrument and an example to follow. Your commitment and your service to Spain, to your country, constitute, in turn, a major commitment to the European Union as a whole. We should remember that the south of Spain is not just the south of Spain but also the south of Europe. And moreover, your ties to the authorities of Senegal are a commitment to long-term collaboration and cooperation that contribute to create a shared agenda based on trust.

You put a face and a name to this front line of political action on migration, this collaboration, thus strengthening the trust between our countries, between our societies. And I have been told that this work is widely appreciated by the Senegalese authorities.

Hence, for me as the President of the Government, it is a source of pride and an honour to come here today to personally acknowledge your work here on behalf of all of Spanish society. So I encourage you to continue down this path of excellence that we will continue to tread together with our partners in Senegal.

Thank you very much.

(Transcript edited by the State Secretariat for Communication)

(Original speech in Spanish and French)

Non official translation