FILE PHOTO: The border fence separating Spain’s northern enclave Ceuta and Morocco is seen from Ceuta, Spain, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina
June 8, 2021
MADRID (Reuters) -Spain respects Morocco’s choice to limit sea journey between the 2 nations throughout the summer season because it was primarily based on well being standards, the federal government spokeswoman mentioned on Tuesday.
Between 3 million and three.5 million Moroccans residing in Europe often make the crossing every summer season, lots of them by way of southern ports from Spain, and Spanish authorities take measures to assist them.
The summer season exodus didn’t occur final yr due to restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and Morocco has mentioned it could be the identical this yr.
“We live a state of affairs similar to final yr’s, with even a better incidence, and all of us agree the extra handy was to droop the ‘Straits crossing’ operation,” spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero advised reporters.
The Moroccan international ministry introduced on Sunday the nation will reopen worldwide passenger site visitors by way of airports and ports for vaccinated individuals or these with a detrimental PCR check end result.
Nonetheless, Rabat determined to maintain sea hyperlinks with Spanish ports closed to passenger site visitors. Moroccans residing in Europe will have the ability to cross by way of French and Italian ports as a substitute, like final yr.
Montero’s feedback got here at a time of heightened diplomatic pressure between the 2 nations.
Spain mentioned Morocco failed to manage its borders and let hundreds of migrants into its North African enclave of Ceuta.
In the meantime, Morocco criticized Spain for admitting to hospital the chief of the Polisario Entrance, an organisation in search of the independence of Western Sahara, which is usually below management of Morocco.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Emma Pinedo, Nathan Allen, Enhancing by Ingrid Melander and Angus MacSwan)