The Government excludes the Canary Islands from the meetings with Morocco to set the maritime limits

Image of Pedro Sánchez's visit to Mohamed VI in April, with which diplomatic relations were resumed. / EFE

There was no presence of the regional Executive at the meeting that took place on October 11 in Madrid. CC denounces the “total opacity” of the state

Loreto Gutierrez

The central government provides little by little information on the negotiation with Morocco to
delimit maritime spacess of the Atlantic façade and when he does, he avoids going into details.

Until now, it was only known that the Spanish-Moroccan working group, reactivated after Pedro Sánchez's visit to Rabat, had met once on
June 29without the presence of the Government of the Canary Islands -which only participated in the previous internal preparatory meeting-, despite the express commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The justification on that occasion was that it was a first meeting to establish the
work method and the calendar, and the possibility that a representative of the islands could join the following meetings was raised.

It is now known that since then the bilateral working group has met on at least two more occasions, the last one in the middle of last month,
without Canarian presence and without its content having been disclosed.

In response to a written question from the CC in Congress, the Government indicates that although there is no predetermined calendar, the working group meets
alternately in Spain and Moroccoaccording to the agreement reached between the parties, and indicates that «the last meeting took place
on October 11 in Madrid".

Regarding the absence of representation from the Canary Islands in the Spanish delegation, the State Government indicates that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a
"close dialogue" with the Canarian Executive on all international issues that may have repercussions on the islands, so that there is an "adequate
representation of your interests».

The Canary Islands, however, aspired to have
direct presence throughout the negotiation process to assert the special consideration of the
canary waters established in the Statute of Autonomy and keep abreast of the development of the work first-hand.

On the two laws with which Rabat expanded
unilaterally their Atlantic limits in January 2020, the Government reiterates in its reply that they have
"general character", Therefore, its publication "does not imply that the process of delimitation of the maritime spaces of Morocco, which is still pending, has been completed." Spain reserves, in any case, "all actions contemplated in the United Nations Sea Convention to
preserve their interests.

The response of the State Executive is, in the opinion of the deputy of CC
Maria Fernandezone more example of the «
full opacity that the Government of Sánchez maintains on such an important negotiation in which the Canary Islands are at stake a lot ».

The nationalist parliamentarian believes that the absence of a representative from the Canary Islands in the Spanish delegation is not acceptable and regrets that the Government she presides over
Angel Victor Torres do not raise your voice to demand that you be allowed to be present at the bilateral meetings with Morocco.

«First we were told that the Canary Islands were going to be there, then that the important thing was not to be there but to influence, but
Canary Islands neither is nor influences», he points out, «the meetings are still being held but we are not finding out about it, and we don't like that at all, because when there is no transparency it is for a reason,» he adds.

In the opinion of the CC deputy, the Government of Sánchez should give the Canary Islands
"the role that corresponds to him" in the negotiation with Morocco, "which is to be present in the Spanish delegation, as it was in the previous stage, so that it can have
own voice in the agreements that are adopted”, he indicates.