Spain and Morocco will meet next Tuesday in Madrid to complete the process of reopening the border, according to what the newspaper El País has advanced this Sunday and sources from Moncloa have confirmed to elDiario.es. During the meeting, customs controls for people and goods are expected to be discussed with the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
Sánchez supports Morocco’s proposal for the autonomy of the Sahara
The meeting will serve to “establish the modalities and the schedule for the completion of the normalization process of the movement of people and goods through the two land posts that began on May 17, 2022,” report sources from the Interior. The appointment will take place within the framework of the application of the commitments of the joint declaration of last April 7, “particularly in relation to the progressive normalization of the movement of people and goods, through customs control systems and of people”.
In the Government they underline the importance of including a reference to customs control at land level in the statement, because they understand that the existence of a border is being implicitly recognized. In Melilla there was already a commercial customs office that was closed by the Alaouite kingdom in 2018 and in Ceuta it will be established for the first time. “What is being said today here, in Rabat, about Ceuta and Melilla is historic,” state government sources.
Last week, Morocco had cast doubt on the forthcoming opening of commercial customs in Ceuta and Melilla. The general director of Moroccan Customs, Nabyl Lakhdar, stated in an interview with the weekly TelQuel that the geographical conditions of the two steps do not allow opening these customs, but this Friday Lakhdar reneged and clarified to EFE that it would be possible to establish customs infrastructure after making the necessary changes. The customs issue with Ceuta and Melilla, pointed out the Moroccan official, “is a political issue addressed by the Moroccan and Spanish Ministries of the Interior” following the road map recently established between the two countries. “The Customs Administration will execute all the decisions made by the political authorities.” “When the two ministries agree on aspects related to Ceuta and Melilla, we apply them,” he told EFE.
Pedro Sánchez will appear on Wednesday in the Congress of Deputies precisely to explain the new relationship agreed with Morocco last March, by changing the historical position of Spain with respect to the Sahara in a letter sent to King Mohamed VI.