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Morocco and Spain discuss security cooperation

A man stands by a sign reading "Spain" near the Spanish border with Morocco in Ceuta on March 13, 2020. [JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images]
A man stands by a sign reading "Spain" near the Spanish border with Morocco in Ceuta on March 13, 2020. [JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images]

Morocco and Spain held discussions on Wednesday about enhancing security cooperation, as well as other issues of common interest.

The discussions took place in Rabat between the Director General of National Security in the kingdom, Abdellatif Hammouchi, and the Director General of the Spanish Police, Francisco Pardo Piqueras.

According to an official statement, Piqueras was on a "working visit" to Morocco at the head of a "high-level" security delegation. "The visit reflects the firm will to continue expanding and strengthening bilateral partnership and cooperation relations that link the security interests of the Kingdom of Morocco with its Spanish counterpart."

The meeting, said officials, was an opportunity for the two parties to discuss several subjects of common interest in particular those related to the fight against the threats posed by extremist terrorist groups and organised criminal networks operating in the western Mediterranean.

READ: Council of Europe urges Spain to ensure humane border control policies with Morocco

"They also discussed ways to tackle the criminal activities linked to human trafficking and international drug trafficking, as well as ways to strengthen mechanisms and channels for the exchange of operational data related to security issues."

In March, relations warmed between Madrid and Rabat after Spain announced its support for the Moroccan self-governance initiative to settle the conflict in the disputed Western Sahara, where the Polisario Front seeks an independent state.

A crisis broke out between the two countries in April last year when Madrid received the Polisario leader Ibrahim Ghali for medical treatment. He used a "false identity" and the Spanish authorities did not tell the Moroccans, which was seen as a "stab in the back".

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