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Albares criticizes that the PP "doesn't care" about relations with Morocco: "Do we want to go back to times like Perejil's?"

He says that Sánchez is the president of the democracy with a closer and more personal relationship with a king of Morocco.

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Albares criticizes that the PP "doesn't care" about relations with Morocco: "Do we want to go back to times like Perejil's?"

He says that Sánchez is the president of the democracy with a closer and more personal relationship with a king of Morocco


The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, has claimed this Friday the "very positive balance" of the High Level Meeting (RAN) with Morocco, which has allowed "much more progress than in recent years" in the relationship with this country, and has asked not to look for "hidden or implicit meanings" to the commitment to avoid what could offend the respective "spheres of sovereignty".

This is how he defended it during an interview on Canal Sur Televisión, in which he criticized the PP's reaction to the RAN for having "negated" relations with Morocco, "a first-rate strategic partner for Spain", he wondered if " we want to return to times of clashes like that of Perejil" and stressed that "there is no President of the Government of Spain in a democracy who has had such a close and personal relationship with a King of Morocco" as Pedro Sánchez.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has assured that the RAN has made it possible to "reinforce political dialogue so that from now on those repeated crises that have plagued the relationship with Morocco since the advent of democracy are part of the past, because we are going to base ourselves on respect and mutual benefit", in addition to reinforcing the "economic partnership" by opening the door to an investment plan that Morocco has of 45,000 million euros in sectors in which Spain has much to contribute, such as water sanitation or rail.

After highlighting the twenty agreements signed in the fight against irregular immigration and the mafias that traffic in human beings and against jihadism and the agreement to extend the bilingual sections in Spanish in one hundred Moroccan schools, Albares has asked "not to look for hidden meanings nor implicit" to the phrase pronounced by Sánchez at the opening of the RAN regarding avoiding what may offend the respective "spheres of sovereignty".

"What the President of the Government wanted to say is very evident and it has also been clearly reflected in that joint declaration that has very important aspects. We want the relationship to be based on mutual respect and benefit, in the absence of unilateral actions. by neither party, in the fact that whenever there are misunderstandings, communication is permanent, as it has been in recent months", added the minister, who explained that the meaning of Sánchez's phrase is " to try once and for all that those saw teeth in the relationship between Spain and Morocco are things of the past".

Asked about the scope of the declaration in relation to Western Sahara, Albares has indicated that "the Spanish position established in the Hispano-Moroccan declaration of April 7 appears clearly and there is nothing new about it." Regarding the reopening of the Ceuta and Melilla customs, he has indicated that "there is an agreed schedule" to do it "in an orderly and gradual manner" because "we do not want avalanches, smuggling or unworthy images of the past."

Faced with criticism from the PP for the absence of Mohamed VI in the RAN, the head of Foreign Affairs has defended that "a high-level summit is not judged by the photographs, but by the results", among which he highlighted the fall of irregular immigration in 69% in Andalusia and 82% in the Canary Islands during the month of January, the "historical figures" of Spanish exports and the recovery of maritime connectivity from Algeciras and Tarifa (Cádiz) and Operation Passage of the Strait ( PEO).

"There is no President of the Government of Spain in a democracy who has had such a close and personal relationship with a King of Morocco. Pedro Sánchez is the President of the Government who has met King Mohamed VI the most times, has shared an iftar in which his heir and the whole family were, something that happens very rarely with the King of Morocco with any head of State of Government in the world and yet, it has done so with Pedro Sánchez", highlighted Albares.

Likewise, he argued that the "pre-agreed telephone call" between Sánchez and Mohamed VI "instead of a subsequent protocol hearing allowed the start-up" of the RAN to be given a boost and that the "personal invitation" to the President of the Government for an upcoming visit "it is not frequent by the king of Morocco".

The minister has been especially harsh with the reaction of the PP, which he has accused of "ignoring Spain's relationship with Morocco and not understanding the importance of what all the ministers of Foreign Affairs and all the former presidents of the Government of Spanish democracy have qualified as the number one priority of foreign policy", which, in his opinion, "shows that the PP is totally incapable of governing Spain".

"Do we want to go back to times of clashes like the one in Perejil. I think that cooperation, friendship, mutual respect and mutual benefit, not unilateral actions with our neighbors, especially with those with which we have a land border. Can you imagine those words of the Popular Party towards Portugal or towards France?", he asked.

Questioned about the absence of the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, Albares has acknowledged that he found out when he landed in Morocco and was "astonished and surprised", but he has been convinced that "he has a legitimate reason for it that I do not know, the TRUE".

"I was surprised because we are talking about a country for which we are a preferred partner, because there are 20,000 companies that frequently export to Morocco, 1,100 Spanish companies and subsidiaries established in Morocco and we are talking about a global trade figure of 20,000 million euros and that it will growing", he added before stressing that "I would have expected the president of the businessmen to be present" in a forum in whose organization the CEOE has collaborated and in which "a business opportunity of 45,000 million euros" is opening up.

Finally, Albares has assured that he is unaware if the Interior Ministers have addressed the situation of the Moroccan arrested for the murder of a sacristan in Algeciras (Cádiz) in the bilateral meeting held during the RAN and has limited himself to stating that "we have signed new agreements for the management of irregular migratory flows, to improve this cooperation and also to fight against jihadism".

"At the closing of the economic forum, the Moroccan head of government conveyed his condemnation of this act and his condolences to Spain for this attack that had taken place in Algeciras", stressed the minister, who has defended the need to "continue to strengthen the exemplary cooperation in recent months", which has made it possible to dismantle six jihadist networks with 18 detainees "due to the joint police and judicial work of Spain and Morocco".