Madrid and Rabat Underlined Neccesity of Relaunching Maghreb Union

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Madrid – Spain and Morocco reiterated the need to revive the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), we read in the joint statement sanctioning the work of the 11th High Level Meeting Maroc- Spain, held Friday in the Spanish capital. Both countries regard the UMA as an “inescapable geopolitical choice,” said the declaration adopted at the end of this co-chaired by the heads of government meeting Messrs. Abdelilah Benkirane and Mariano Rajoy.

Regarding Libya, Spain and Morocco stressed the “need to find a political solution within the framework of the mediation led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Bernardino Leon”. To this end, Spain has welcomed the initiative taken by Morocco to host the inter-Libyan dialogue, the statement said.

At the level of the Mediterranean, the two countries pledged to boost the EU-UMA dialogue and the 5 + 5 Initiative, the regular meeting of Foreign Ministers will be held soon in Morocco.

The two sides also reiterated their full commitment to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), as a framework “suitable for a strong partnership and solidarity” between the two shores of the Mediterranean. In this context, both parties welcome the launching of the Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez.

Concerning the European Neighbourhood Policy, Morocco welcomed the praiseworthy initiative of Spain which had sheltered in Barcelona at the seat of the UfM in April 2015, a meeting of Ministers of the EU Foreign Affairs with their counterparts in the ENPI South countries, to launch a reflection on the future of this policy. In this respect, Madrid and Rabat have called for a new European Neighbourhood Policy which would include implementing the concept of differentiation.

Similarly, Spain has reiterated its commitment to an optimal implementation of the Advanced Status, enjoyed by Morocco to the European Union. Both sides welcomed the progress in this area, including the Mobility Partnership, cross-border cooperation (Mid Atlantic) and the 2013-2017 Action Plan for regulatory convergence.

Morocco and Spain have recalled on this occasion the importance of concluding an Agreement on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (CAFTA) EU-Morocco that incorporate such dimensions “development” and “support”. The two sides also stressed their desire to strengthen joint cooperation for institutional twinning projects under the Morocco-EU partnership.

Regarding Africa, the two sides expressed their common ambition for development and stability in Africa. In this perspective, Morocco and Spain, as logistics hubs between the two continents agreed to explore all opportunities open within the EU-Africa partnership, including in logistics connectivity.

Spain welcomed Morocco’s presence as a partner observer at the Ibero-American Summits, which demonstrates the strength and vigor of cultural and linguistic affinities between Morocco and the Ibero-American space.

The two sides noted with satisfaction that the initiative of Hispano-Moroccan Mediterranean Mediation, evolving positively and strengthens their position as actors of peace and promoters of stability in the Mediterranean.

On the issue of climate change, Morocco and Spain have stressed the importance of achieving, at COP 21, held in Paris in December 2015, an ambitious agreement on climate change. Spain congratulated Morocco for its decision to host the COP 22 in 2016.

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