Initially expected in Rabat on Friday April 1, the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, has finally canceled his trip to Morocco, which was to mark a turning point in bilateral relations between the two countries. His movement is maintained but he will not come alone.
While he was to fly to Rabat on Thursday evening to meet his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita, the head of Spanish diplomacy will finally come at a later date, and he will be accompanied by the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez.
The Spanish and Moroccan governments have finally decided to organize a high-level visit, in which the two Spanish officials will take part.
Initially, the date fixed for the visit of José Manuel Albares was April 1 just before the beginning of the month of Ramadan and a visit of Pedro Sanchez was to follow, but the Moroccan authorities did not announce a date for the latter.
A dramatic twist, King Mohammed VI and Pedro Sanchez had a telephone conversation on Thursday. According to the Iberian media El Confidential, which cites Spanish diplomatic sources, after the telephone call with King Mohammed VI who confirmed Pedro Sanchez’s visit to Morocco, Minister Albares’ trip alone would have “lost its original meaning”. ‘where his involvement with Sanchez.
José Manuel Albares was to go to Rabat to formalize the inauguration of new bilateral relations after Spain endorsed the Moroccan autonomy plan for the Sahara.
But this step seems to have been confirmed during the telephone conversation with King Mohammed VI, according to a tweet from the head of the Spanish government. King Felipe VI, who closely follows the file of relations with Morocco, was also informed of the details of the conversation, reports El Confidential.
According to Sanchez, the conversation helped to “launch” a roadmap for the new relations that have just been inaugurated between the two countries.
“I spoke with His Majesty King Mohamed VI about relations between Spain and Morocco. We have launched a roadmap that consolidates the new stage between two neighboring countries, strategic partners, based on transparency, mutual respect and respect for agreements,” he wrote on Twitter.
He conversado con SM el rey Mohamed VI on the relations between Spain and Marruecos. Lanzamos una hoja de ruta that consolidated la nueva etapa between dos países vecinos, socios stratégicos, basada en la transparency, el respect mutuo y el cumplimiento de los acuerdos.
— Pedro Sanchez (@sanchezcastejon) March 31, 2022
And the Spanish prime minister’s office insisted that the new frame of reference for bilateral relations implies that the two countries will refrain from “any unilateral action” to live up to the importance of the relationship they share.