XII High-Level Meeting between Spain and Morocco

Sánchez: The High-Level Meeting between Spain and Morocco consolidates the new stage of bilateral relations

President's News - 2023.2.2

Rabat (Morocco)

During the opening of the plenary session, the President of the Government shared his deep conviction about "the enormous potential that remains to be explored in this relationship" which, he stressed, "goes far beyond simple neighbourliness".

Pedro Sánchez thereby highlighted the main commitments reached by both countries during this historic meeting, including those relating to permanent transparency and communication, the reaffirmation of the validity and integrity of all the agreements reached and mutual respect in the policies and discourse of the two countries.

The two governments have agreed on a working agenda that aims to boost all facets of a privileged bilateral relationship. In this regard, on the roadmap, Pedro Sánchez highlighted the importance of reinforced political and security-related dialogue, the advanced economic partnership and the launch of a new partnership to strengthen social and cultural ties between the two countries.

Spain has signed some twenty agreements with Morocco, which "gives an idea of the density and importance that the two countries attach to our relationship", the president stressed at the end of the plenary session and in the framework of a joint institutional declaration with the head of government of the Kingdom of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch.

Pedro Sánchez stressed that the level of commitment reached during this meeting clearly reflects the strategic nature of the new roadmap for relations between Spain and Morocco.

Plenary meeting of the delegations of the Spanish and Moroccan governments | Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

President Sánchez highlighted achievements in four areas:

First, monitoring mechanisms have been adopted for the effective implementation of the agreements, noting the high level of compliance reached in the 16 points set out in last year's Joint Declaration.

Second, Spain and Morocco have today agreed to move forward on migration issues from a constructive perspective, seeking to open up new channels for regular migration (such as circular migration projects). They have also agreed to continue working to ensure that the commercial customs offices in Ceuta and Melilla remain operating in an orderly and progressive manner until the full normalisation of the passage of people and goods is achieved, as established in the Joint Declaration of 7 April.

Third, the President of the Government highlighted the impetus that both countries have given at this High-Level Meeting to a new advanced economic partnership. "Spain wants to be a benchmark investor in Morocco". To this end, a financial protocol has been announced, endowed with up to €800 million, to promote investments in sectors such as railways, water, agri-food and tourism.

Fourth, the two countries are today strengthening their cooperation in the fields of culture, education and vocational training and higher education. In this respect, several agreements have been signed that will allow the opening of bilingual sections and teaching centres.

"These are the foundations that two countries like Morocco and Spain deserve," said President Sánchez. "They are two countries that are much more than neighbours and that look to the future with a shared desire to fulfil the aspirations of our peoples and to achieve the definitive fit between our two countries".

In the Joint Declaration, Spain and Morocco reiterate their commitment to the protection and guarantee of human rights as an essential basis for democratic coexistence, the rule of law and good governance, and agree to strengthen their cooperation in this area in the new stage of bilateral relations. Spain and Morocco also agree to collaborate actively in promoting the flagship initiatives of the EU's Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbourhood.

Morocco also stresses the importance it attaches to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2023, particularly for the deepening of Morocco's privileged relations with the EU and the strengthening of Euro-Mediterranean, Euro-Arab and Euro-African relations.

Furthermore, both countries today renew their commitment to peace and stability, sustainable development and human rights, particularly in the framework of the UN, underlining their particular commitment to the fight against international terrorism, which is fundamental to security and stability in the Euro-Mediterranean region and globally.

On trade and investment, Spain and Morocco undertake to promote trade and investment for the implementation of joint development projects within the framework of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Likewise, in the area of tourism, during the 12th Moroccan-Spanish High-Level Meeting the two parties welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism, which will give new impetus to tourism cooperation relations, particularly in the areas of promotion, investment, competitiveness, sustainability and quality, territorial development and decentralised cooperation.

Non official translation