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Security 2013-03-01

Morocco, Spain discuss security partnership

By Siham Ali for Magharebia in Rabat – 01/03/13

Morocco and Spain are aiming to boost their partnership in the area of security.

Moroccan Interior Minister-Delgate Cherki Drais and Spanish State Secretary for Security Francisco Martinez Vazquez met on Tuesday (February 26th) in Rabat to discuss bilateral co-operation.

Other high-ranking security officials from both countries joined the meeting.

Both ministers emphasised the need for a collective and concerted approach in the area of security between their countries, according to a press release issued after their meeting.

Both sides discussed the various aspects of security co-operation, specifically in regards to organised trans-border crime, terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

Much attention was given to the situation in the Mediterranean and Sahel regions and more particularly, in light of recent events, on terrorist threats and organised crime.

A concerted approach is needed to establish a shared area of peace and wealth in the region, the Spanish official said.

He indicated that "an action plan, taking into consideration the region's security challenges, had been implemented".

"This was based on a global evaluation of strategic dimensions that governs the relationships between the two countries," he added.

Both sides thoroughly examined the themes that were most important to Moroccan and Spanish security services "in a fraternal and totally honest atmosphere", Minister-Delegate Drais said.

Both ministers stressed the high quality of co-operation between the services of the two countries, especially between Morocco's Royal Gendarmerie and Spain's Guardia Civil.

They noted that both sides have performed well in the fight against drug trafficking, specifically through the use of aircraft.

Meetings between Moroccan security services and their Spanish counterparts are often held in order to come up with practical proposals to further develop bilateral co-operation.

Regarding the management of migration flows, both sides agreed to strengthen intervention measures.

The two will work within the framework of increased consultations in accordance with their international commitments and with the relevant UN instruments, mainly when it comes to protecting immigrants' rights.

They also agreed to make the passage through checkpoints smoother, especially for Moroccans who make their seasonal return from abroad, lematin.ma reported.

Morocco and Spain agreed to work on facilitating the transit at security checkpoints between the two countries by putting in place measures that would likely make daily travel at those spots more comfortable.

Given the dangers of terrorism in the Sahel region, reinforcing co-operation on a security level is a necessity, political scientist Hicham Chamili.

The partnership between Morocco and Spain in that regard has been excellent for years, especially in terms of intelligence and is getting stronger by the day due to the proliferation of security threats, he added.

"The security and prosperity of Morocco" is directly linked to that of Spain, elconfidencial.com reported Spanish State Secretary for Security Martinez as saying.

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