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Morocco and Spain to work together and discuss the closure of commercial borders in Melilla

Morocco and Spain have finally reached a common ground on the issue related to the closure of Melilla’s commercial borders. Officials from both countries met yesterday and agreed to work together to find technical solutions for the problem.

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Melilla./Ph. DR

Morocco and Spain are ready to «work together» to discuss the closure of commercial borders, separating the Kingdom’s northern part and Melilla, reported EFE on Thursday.

The decision was taken after Spain’s Director General of Customs and Excise Department Maria Pilar Jurado met on, September the 13th, her Moroccan counterpart in Rabat. The two officials agreed, by the end of their meeting, to «collaborate in order to improve the way in which people work in Melilla».

The meeting held in the capital was the first of its kind, after the Moroccan authorities decided to «unilaterally» close the customs office near Melilla, on August the 1st, recalled the Spanish news agency.

Jurado told media that she can’t tell whether Rabat is going to back on its decision, but she stressed, instead, that the parties have reached a common ground. In fact, they have decided to create of a joint working group to study problems related to the closure.

Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, announced that the two countries will be trying to solve the problem, without having to «make it escalate politically, especially, as the issue can be approached in other efficient ways».

Two weeks ago, Morocco’s government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi, said in a press briefing that closing commercial borders near Melilla is a «sovereign decision», meant to revive the new Beni Ensar port located in Nador.

Collaborating to fight against migration

The closure of commercial borders in Melilla is not the only topic that is making headlines in both Spain and Morocco. The two countries are currently facing a migrant influx.

To overcome the situation, the two Spanish Secretaries of State for Migration and Security will be visiting Morocco on Friday, 14th of September, to «strengthen collaboration on migration», announced Europa Press on Thursday.

The two secretaries, Ana Botella and Consuelo Rumi, will meet with Kingdom’s migration and border surveillance director Khalid Zerouali. During their meeting, the senior officials will be discussing issues related to border surveillance, and the fight against migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Senior officials from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also attend the meeting. The Moroccan delegation will include officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Employment, added the same source.

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