Spain extends land border closure with Morocco by 15 days

Spain and Morocco
(Photo: Envato Elements)
MADRID — Spain on Saturday announced its two enclaves in North Africa, the EU’s only land borders with the continent, would remain closed for 15 days, dashing hopes they would finally reopen after two years.اضافة اعلان

The frontiers of the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla were first shut in spring 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and stayed closed during a diplomatic crisis in 2021 between Madrid and Rabat.

The borders were due to reopen on Saturday at midnight. But an order published in the official gazette said they would remain shut for “15 days so that the conditions for the gradual and orderly reopening of border posts at the entry and exit of Ceuta and Melilla are concluded”.

The Spanish interior ministry said the police force had been “strengthened” in the two enclaves.

During a landmark visit to Rabat on April 8 by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain and Morocco hailed a “new stage” in relations.

Sanchez said one of the “main aims will be the restoration of goods and property at the border crossings of Ceuta and Melilla”.

Ferries resumed between Morocco and Spain this month, with the first Spanish vessel docking in Tangiers port on April 12 after two years.

The diplomatic crisis began a year ago when Madrid allowed Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front which seeks independence for the territory of Western Sahara, to be treated for COVID-19 in a Spanish hospital.

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