El Othmani Receives Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Rabat – El Othmani received Sanchez this morning in Rabat, the Spanish embassy in Morocco wrote in a Twitter post.Minister of Human Rights Mustapha Ramid and Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit, and Minister of Culture and Communication Mohamed Laaraj also greeted Sanchez upon his arrival.The Spanish high official is visiting Morocco for the first time since he became prime minister in June and is accompanied by a delegation from Madrid. Sanchez is also expected to meet King Mohammed VI on his official trip to Morocco.Sanchez confirmed his intention to visit Rabat at the 26th Ibero-American summit in Guatemala over the weekend.Sanchez told the press that he is visiting Morocco because of the “historical ties” and the “strategic bilateral relations” that both countries enjoy.Presidente del Gobierno, @sanchezcastejon, departe con Jefe de Gobierno Marruecos, Saaddedine El Othmani, a su llegada a Rabat. @MAECgob @desdelamoncloa pic.twitter.com/MZBLo4z0Os— EmbajadaEspañaMarruecos (@EmbEspanaRabat) November 19, 2018He added that the visit will strengthen the bilateral ties linking the two nations on “common challenges.”He also described the visit as “very important.”Since he was voted in as Spanish prime minister in June, Sanchez has been a pro-Moroccan voice in the European Union, expressing Morocco’s concerns on migration issues.Llegada del Presidente @sanchezcastejon a Rabat. Comienza visita de trabajo y amistad a Marruecos. @desdelamoncloa pic.twitter.com/xPXB0iZips— EmbajadaEspañaMarruecos (@EmbEspanaRabat) November 19, 2018Sanchez also convinced the EU commission for migration to grant additional funds for Morocco to prevent irregular immigration to Spain.Read Also: Spanish Parliament Refuses to Host Polisario Meeting, Sanchez to Visit MoroccoThe visit also acknowledges Morocco’s strategic role in fighting irregular migration in line with the Spanish government’s agenda.Morocco is also an important trade partner for Spain. In February, the European Statistical Office reported that Spain remains Morocco’s main trade customer in terms of exports, which increased by 11.2 percent over the past year.Spain has been the primary export destination and importer of Moroccan goods since 2012. Spain is also calling the EU to speed up the process of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement. Last week, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas called for a “rapid ratification” of the fisheries deal at the EU parliament.The Spanish minister asked them to approve it in the first quarter of 2019 to allow Spanish fishermen to fish in Moroccan waters.