The Spain-Morocco roadmap on irregular immigration is a “success,” said Jose Manuel Albare, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in an interview with Europa Press on Sunday.
The roadmap, initiated in March 2022 after Spain expressed support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara, has been a focal point in strengthening ties between the two nations.
Albares emphasized that the roadmap represents a long-term commitment and signifies a process that continues to yield positive results.
One of the notable successes pointed out by Albares is the decrease in immigrant arrivals through the Canary Islands route compared to other European countries.
Spain’s collaborative efforts with Morocco have contributed to the achievement, with Albares further lauding the continually growing trade figures.
Noting the two countries’ cooperation in counterterrorism efforts, he said that the fight against terrorism has been a significant aspect of the roadmap’s success.
The success, Albares stressed, underlines that the roadmap is continuously delivering positive outcomes.
The interview also touched on challenges faced by Spain, particularly in addressing the recent increase in small boat arrivals to the Canary Islands.
Albares clarified that the uptick in arrivals is not related to Morocco but rather stems from the widespread instability in the Sahel region.
He acknowledged the difficulty in achieving complete border control but highlighted Spain’s comparative success when compared to Italy and Greece, which have seen significant increases in arrivals.
The emerging instability in Senegal, a significant source of small boat arrivals, was also addressed. Albares recognized Senegal’s importance as a strategic partner and emphasized the need to support the country in maintaining stability and democracy.
When asked about Spain’s ties with Algeria, Albares refrained from confirming any ongoing contact, responding to recent statements from Algeria’s Foreign Minister about the relationship remaining “stagnant.”
He reiterated Spain’s desire to maintain a relationship with Algeria on the same friendly basis as with other neighbors and Arab nations.