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The Government asks Morocco for explanations after its prime minister claimed Ceuta and Melilla

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The Government has urgently summoned Karima Benyaich, Ambassador of Morocco in Spain, to ask you for clarification on the statements by the Moroccan Prime Minister, Saadeddine El Othmani, in which he has defended that Ceuta and Melilla "are Moroccans like the Sahara".

Cristina Gallach, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has transferred to the embassy that the Spanish Executive "expects from all its partners respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Spain, as reported in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Both the words of El Othmani and the summons of the ambassador, take place in a context in which both governments insist that their relations are close and excellent, something that they have reiterated especially in recent days after postponing the bilateral summit of the past 17 December due to the situation generated by the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister of Morocco defended over the weekend that the Spanish autonomous cities "are Moroccan like the Sahara", after the American president, Donald Trump, acknowledge last December 10 the sovereignty of the kingdom over Western Sahara.

The Othmani has recognized, as far as the two Spanish enclaves are concerned, that "the status quo has lasted for five or six centuries", and has considered that "The day will come when we will reopen the matter of Ceuta and Melilla, Moroccan territories like the Sahara.

However, the Moroccan minister has contemplated that this is not the time to address this issue with the Spanish Government, since "first we must definitively fix the Sahara conflict, which is our absolute priority."

Faced with these statements, they have already risen criticism from the opposition. Among them is Pablo Casado, leader of the PP, who has urged the Government to "respond immediately" because the Spanish sovereignty of the two autonomous cities and the national territorial integrity "is inalienable."

Vox He has also demanded a "forceful response" and has criticized the "cowardice" of the Government in the face of the "expansionist pretensions of the Moroccan tyranny", which "are a danger" for Spanish sovereignty.

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