The Moroccan-Spanish Permanent Joint Migration Group convened in Rabat on Friday.
It was held under the chairmanship of Khalid Zerouali, Wali Director of Migration and Border Surveillance at the Moroccan Interior Ministry and the Spanish Secretary of State for Migration, Jesus Perea Cortijo, and the presence of Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez Ruiz and Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, Angeles Moreno Bau.
The meeting took place as part of the implementation of the roadmap developed during the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Morocco in April 2022, a joint statement said.
A joint statement following the meeting said that given the shared challenges represented by the activities of migrant smuggling networks and the unstable regional environment, both parties decided to strengthen their coordination and information exchange mechanisms through renewed joint action arrangements through police cooperation centers, liaison officers and joint patrols.
The two sides also expressed their willingness to continue providing “agile and flexible responses” in the fight against criminal migrant smuggling networks on the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean routes.
On border management, they stressed the need to articulate joint efforts in terms of technical and financial support to maximize resilience and operational efficiency.
Both parties give particular importance to the increased possibilities of financial support for Morocco, while Spain, as a EU member state, said it will continue to highlight the role of Morocco as a strategic partner of the EU in all areas, including migration.
Regarding regular migration, the Joint Migration Group welcomed “the positive record” of the Moroccan-Spanish model of circular mobility and labor management, and the two sides pledged to “continue working in this direction to establish new paths where capacity building and reintegration are key components so as to strengthen the positive effects of migration in both Moroccan and Spanish societies.”
They also reiterated their shared willingness to strengthen the prospects for cooperation to encourage controlled legal flows in coordination with all operators and stakeholders.
As to the issue of unaccompanied minors, the Moroccan side reminded Spain of its commitment, in accordance with the instructions of King Mohammed VI, to repatriate all “duly identified” unaccompanied minors who enter Spanish territory. The joint statement added that Morocco and Spain agreed to focus on the best interests of the minor.