Morocco yesterday criticised Margaritis Schinas, vice president of the European Commission, for describing the disputed cities of Ceuta and Melilla as “European”, Anadolu news agency reported.
On Wednesday, Spanish media said, the Spanish government submitted an official complaint to Rabat for describing the two cities as “Moroccan”.
Responding to journalists’ question on the issue, Moroccan government spokesman Mustapha Baitas said: “It was necessary to stand up to the slip that occurred, and we are proud of the very great partnership that brings us together with the Spanish neighbour.”
“Our partnership with Spain is based on trust and joint involvement in addressing various challenges, whether economic or social,” he added.
The cities of Melilla and Ceuta in northern Morocco, in addition to the Jaafari and other rocky islands in the Mediterranean, are under Spanish administration while Rabat considers them “occupied Moroccan outposts”.