Spain – Morocco: a passionate relationship

Morocco, a country separated from us by just 14 km along the southern coast of the Mediterranean and an hour of flight from Mallorca, has always been an intimate neighbour of Spain. There is a growing Moroccan community on our islands. According to the latest data, about 50,000 Moroccans now live on the Balearic Islands. The islands and Morocco share a long history and intertwined economic interests, but in many ways, they are still strangers.

The last official visit of a Moroccan monarch to the island of Mallorca dates back to February 24, 1982. The King stayed at the Valparaiso Hotel, where they tell anecdotes such as his gift of a TV to hotel employees because he was informed that they were upset that they could not follow the matches of the 1982 World Cup.

Last week the King of Spain made an official trip to Morocco, a journey marked by the anecdote of the “Selham,” a typical Moroccan garment that the Moroccan monarch gave to Queen Letizia when she felt cold at the end of the gala dinner. This visit was rich with symbolism, from the arrival of the Spanish royals at Rabat airport, where they were greeted by the king, to a drive through the streets of Rabat sharing the official car.

Within the framework of the visit, several cooperation agreements were signed between the Spanish and Moroccan governments, including to combat organized crime and energy agreements. Morocco imports 14% of its energy from Spain and is betting on renewable energies to reduce its very high energy dependence (94%). For this purpose, the largest solar thermal plant in the world was launched (Noor, in which Spanish companies have participated). On the other hand, and taking advantage of the approval of the council of ministers, cultural agreements were signed to encourage the exchange of exhibitions. On this visit there was no room for thorny topics that always create conflict when they come to light such as the Western Sahara or Ceuta and Melilla.

Morocco – Spain; neighbouring countries linked by a shared past, from Roman times to eight hundred years of the Muslim era and now linked by shared economic and geopolitical interests in the region. A good relationship between Spain and Morocco guarantees a promising future for its two peoples.


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