The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation will discuss with Morocco its plans for the delimitation of its maritime waters but, at the outset, it emphasizes that both countries start from a common point: that the delimitation of waters in adjacent areas can only be done by mutual agreement and that the accomplished facts and unilateral situations of fact do not fit.
This has been indicated by sources from the Department consulted by Europa Press, a few hours before the Lower House of the Moroccan Parliament approves two laws to delimit its territorial sea (12 miles) and its Exclusive Economic Zone (200 miles), which would overlap with the Canary Islands .
Along the same lines, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, said that Spain and Morocco agree that "the limitation of our maritime spaces is still pending." "It cannot be done unilaterally, but by mutual agreement between the parties and in accordance with current international legislation," he said in a message published on social networks.
In addition, González Laya has indicated that he has talked with Rabat in recent weeks. "There will be no policy of accomplished facts or unilateral actions," recalled the minister, who added that her counterpart in Morocco, Naser Burita, has reiterated this position in the House of Representatives of the African country.
On the other hand, he insisted that the Spanish Foreign Ministry offers its "total support" to the Canary Islands Government. "This is what I have transmitted to the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, to whom I have reiterated the total support of this Ministry in this matter," he said.
González Laya will travel to Morocco on Friday and this will be one of the issues he will deal with his counterpart, Naser Burita, but on the basis that both agree that the delimitation of adjacent areas must be made by mutual agreement. In fact, the sources emphasize that in their bills they do not trace the delimitation of the zones.
The laws were passed last December in the Foreign Commission of the Chamber and the Spanish Government reacted by stating that he did not know the texts and recalling that the mutual agreement in the framework of respect for the Convention should govern the delimitation of waters of neighboring countries of the United Nations Sea. At that time, Morocco decided to postpone the passage of laws by the House Plenary, but finally it will do so this Wednesday.
In December, Minister Burita said that the approval of the laws "does not mean that Morocco is not open to resolve any possible conflict with Spain, Portugal or Mauritania over the precise delimitation of its maritime space, within the framework of a constructive dialogue and a positive association. "
MOROCCO DOESN'T WANT A MEDIUM
A different matter will be the principles on which that maritime boundary will be negotiated, because Morocco considers that the criterion of the median between the two is not valid when it comes to an island.
Moroccan diplomatic sources consulted by Europa Press said in December that the laws do not respond to any attempt at confrontation, but rather that Morocco is modernizing its legal system and adapting it to international conventions, within the framework of a sovereign process. The maritime borders, the sources said, must be agreed, so that the approval of the laws does not prejudge what the solution will be.
Sources of the Spanish Ministry recognize that Morocco is immersed in a process of updating its internal laws on the delimitation of maritime spaces, which is currently in the initial phase of parliamentary proceedings.
These sources have explained that the delimitation of maritime spaces is governed by International Law, mainly by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCITRAL), which regulates how the delimitation of both the territorial sea and the Zone should be done Exclusive Economic when the coasts of two States are adjacent or face to face.
Spain has maritime borders with five states: Portugal, France, Italy, Morocco and Algeria and most of these boundaries are still pending. In fact, the delimitation of all maritime spaces between Spain and Morocco is pending.
According to the same sources, Spain and Morocco agree that when it is done, it must be done by agreement between the two States respecting the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both countries have ratified, and International Law and, in accordance with these rules, the two agree that "consummated facts and unilateral de facto situations do not fit, as the agreement between the two governs."