Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska reacted on Tuesday to the reopening of land borders with the cities of Sebta and Melilla, saying that Morocco and Spain were two “brother countries” linked by an important partnership.
Morocco is a “fraternal partner”, welcomed the Spanish Minister of the Interior the day after the reopening of the land borders with the two northern cities, which had been closed for 2 years by Morocco.
The Moroccan government had taken the decision to close the border crossings with Sebta and Melilla because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the closure had been maintained due to the diplomatic crisis with Spain which had followed the illegal reception of the head of the Polisario separatist militia.
“Relations with Morocco are absolutely important, relevant, strategic,” said Spain’s top police officer and security manager, in an interview with the Espejo Público program on Antena 3, relayed by the Europa press agency.
Returning to the bilateral crisis that had handicapped the countries for 10 months, Marlaska played down the facts, declaring that it was a simple disagreement “typical between brotherly countries”. This disagreement was resolved thanks to a permanent dialogue between the two countries which resulted in a 17-point agreement to upgrade the relationship between Rabat and Madrid.
As such, the minister also pointed out that the two countries are “unfailingly and necessarily fraternal partners”.
“We are unfailingly fraternal neighbours. We have preserved, we are preserving and we will continue to preserve our relations for the good of our societies”, he pointed out, welcoming the dynamic initiated between the two countries on the basis of the new roadmap established since then. the visit of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, to Morocco last April.
On the subject of the total reopening of the borders, Grande-Marlaska was cautious, indicating on May 31, the Spanish-Moroccan working group expects “to have also made progress” in the rest of the subjects, in particular the passage of people, equipment and goods.
In addition, it is expected that customs will be reopened in Melilla after 4 years of suspension, and that the same measure will be applied in Sebta, a first.
For his part, the president of the city of Melilla, Eduardo de Castro, declared in an interview on Radio Nacional, collected by Europa Press, that the reopening of the crossing on Monday at midnight was done calmly and without “any problem “.
He described a “quiet” night without a “great influx” after more than two years of closure, arguing that “the notion of good neighborliness goes hand in hand with that of reciprocity” and that it will depend on the respect of the agreement by the two parts.