The commission to delimit the Canary waters is constituted in May

Parliament observed a minute of silence for the victims who died on the Canarian Route. / EFE

Ángel Víctor Torres has assured that the Canary Islands will be present in the Spanish-Moroccan technical group and announces the visit of Albares

Ingrid Ortiz-Viera

The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, wanted to convey this Tuesday in the plenary session of Parliament that, above all, the normalization of bilateral relations between Spain and Morocco supposes "tranquility" for the archipelago.

He affirmed that it is "very positive news that we officially sit down to improve the migratory agreement, commercial relations or make decisions on the delimitation of waters with a neighboring country."

His words were accompanied by the announcement that it will be starting next week, when the Spanish-Moroccan commission will be constituted,
that had been stagnant for 15 years, and in which the Canary Islands will participate. He did not clarify the president what the weight of that representation would be, but he did affirm that it would be in all matters of interest.

It is a widely demanded decision with which Torres plans to eliminate "unilateral and dramatic" decisions such as those that the archipelago has experienced.

The Government showed a united front against prospecting, whether in Spanish or Moroccan waters

The water issue has already tightened the rope with the Alawite country on more than one occasion: its parliament had approved two regulations that, by delimiting its space, overlapped with that of the islands and the controversy over oil prospecting has fueled the debate.

In this sense, the Government did show a firm position: it said 'no' whether it was in Spanish or Moroccan waters, where they would take place if sufficient evidence was found.

Despite acknowledging that the regional government has "limited powers" to prevent them, Torres is committed to ensuring that Morocco complies with international law and environmental protection. Hence, he has also underlined the representation of the
Ministry of Ecological Transition in commission.

“The Canary Islands are committed to renewable energies, which are the present and the future –said the regional president– We will remain vigilant to defend the interests of the islands”.

The opposition does not trust

The need to promote good neighborly relations and mutual respect was a maxim that, although shared by all the political forces, was not exempt from debate.

Torres appeared at the request of the Nationalist Group, which attacked above all the ways in which the president and party member, Pedro Sánchez, had achieved this new approach and which was based on
the letter sent to Mohamed VI recognizing its sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara.

In his opinion, he had made three mistakes: the lack of transparency, the support of the courts and the exclusion of Algeria from decision-making.

Once again the division in the pact became evident: while PSOE and ASG defended that the letter only declared a "fair and accepted" solution by both parties, NC and Sí Podemos condemned that declaration for going against international law.

The wounded Saharawi occupied a large part of the parliamentary interventions and they were partially placated with another announcement: the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Jose Manuel Albares, who will travel next week to the islands.

With a pending date, instead, it remains
the intended Torres' trip to Morocco which, according to the president, has not taken place for security reasons.

Immigration on the table

The migration issue did not go unnoticed in Parliament, where a minute of silence was observed before the beginning of the session for the victims of the Canarian route. Human lives have been Rabat's currency and, according to the nationalists, "Moroccan diplomacy has always known how to play with the weakness of foreign policy."

The popular also joined the criticism by pointing out that the migration data had not decreased despite the bilateral agreements. Statements that the president refuted indicating that in March and April the arrival had dropped compared to 2021, which meant "fewer deaths at sea."

For its part, the Mixed Group lacked specificity in the agreements and asked to clarify the Moroccan commitments. In this line, the nationalists presented a roadmap with 24 proposals for the Government of the Canary Islands to defend in the new framework of relations.

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