• Borders Morocco returns to its "hardest" position with respect to Ceuta and Melilla and frustrates a passage of goods through the customs of Tarajal

The Spanish government sent a note verbale to Morocco to convey its complaint to Rabat for referring to Ceuta and Melilla as Moroccan cities in a document it sent to Brussels, according to diplomatic sources.

The letter, in which Madrid "categorically" rejects the language used to refer to these two Spanish cities and recalls that their borders are internationally recognized, comes after Morocco sent, in turn, a verbal note of protest for statements by the vice president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas.

In the letter, revealed by the newspaper El País a few days ago, Morocco showed its dissatisfaction with several interventions by Schinas in which he defended the belonging to Spain of Ceuta and Melilla. These two cities, located on the northern coast of Morocco, are the only land borders of the European Union (EU) on the African continent and very sensitive points at the migratory level.

The communication, sent by Moroccan diplomacy to the EU delegation in Rabat, contained an annex in which a dozen "hostile statements" by Schinas about Morocco and "the Moroccan cities of Ceuta and Melilla" were compiled, according to the newspaper.

This new friction between Morocco and Spain occurs, however, after both countries agreed to avoid last February "everything that we know offends the other party in what affects our respective spheres of sovereignty," as indicated then by the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez.

With this high-level meeting held in Rabat, both administrations confirmed the good moment of their relations since Sánchez ended, in March 2022, a year of bitter diplomatic conflict with Morocco, by agreeing to support the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara.

This last major bilateral crisis had erupted in April 2021, when Spain welcomed Brahim Ghali, leader of the Saharawi separatists of the Polisario Front, to deal with covid-19.

  • Morocco
  • Melilla
  • Ceuta
  • Coronavirus
  • Western Sahara
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • European Union
  • European Commission
  • Africa

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