UPDATE: Defence Minister insists Ceuta and Melilla will always remain Spanish in response to Moroccan politician’s words

UPDATE: Defence Minister insists Ceuta and Melilla will always remain Spanish in response to Moroccan politician's claims

Melilla border crossing with Morocco. Credit: Google maps - Amigo Awmma

After calls for ‘negotiation’ over Ceuta and Melilla by a Moroccan politician, Defence Minister Margarita Robles insisted the cities will always remain Spanish.

UPDATE: Monday, April 10 at 19:23pm

After a Moroccan politician suggested that ‘negotiations’ should take place to restore the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, Defence Minister Margarita Robles insisted today, Monday, April 10, that they would always remain Spanish.

As reported by larazon.es, the minister commented: “Ceuta and Melilla are as Spanish as Zamora or Palencia and there is nothing more to discuss on that subject. I have recently been to Ceuta and Melilla and I feel very Ceuta and very Melilla, because I feel very Spanish”.

She concluded: “The position of the Government of Spain is clear and forceful and there is no possibility of debate on this matter”.

Sunday, April 9 at 11:48pm

Enaam Mayara, a member of the Executive Committee of the Moroccan nationalist Istiqlal party has called for the cities of Ceuta and Melilla to be recovered through ‘negotiation’. He said that he considered them to have been ‘colonised’ by Spain.

The Istiqlal party is part of the tripartite party headed by the Moroccan Government and Mayara is also the president of the Chamber of Councillors of the Parliament, in the Moroccan Senate.

Mayara was speaking during an evening organised by the Istiqlal women’s organisation which used the theme ‘One year after the new stage of Spanish-Spanish relations Moroccans: Fundamentals and Opportunities’. His comments were collected by Moroccan media.

According to a video of the meeting that was published by Facebook, Mayara considered that “Spanish colonisation continues in Ceuta and Melilla”. He added that the Istiqlal “did not stop, and will not stop, talking about colonisation in these two cities and the possible solutions to recover them”, as reported by elfarodeceuta.es.

According to the electronic newspaper alyaoum24.com, in his speech, the Moroccan official stressed that his party was confident that Morocco would: “one day recover the two occupied cities through negotiation without resorting to the use of arms”. He stressed that both cities: “will not be subject to blackmail”.

The rue20.com portal picked up the same words from Mayara and added that the president of the Moroccan Senate also stressed the need to: “be more open to civil society and Spanish political parties to bring positions closer on various issues”.

Mayara also called on people to: “support the Moroccan community in Spanish society”. He asked the Moroccan community to join the Spanish political parties and participate in the elections: “to help bring the opinions of the two countries closer and form a lobby that helps defend all issues related to the homeland, Morocco”.

This recovery of Ceuta and Melilla has been part of the foundations of the discourse of the nationalist Istiqlal since its creation in 1944.

The party came third in the last legislative elections of 2021 and is part of the government coalition that integrates the centrist National Regrouping of Independents (RNI) and the liberal Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM).

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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