Morocco resumes maritime passenger transport service to Spain after two years of suspension

Morocco resumes maritime passenger transport service to Spain after a two-year suspension. Image: NAC, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Morocco is to resume all maritime passenger transport services to and from Spain after a two-year suspension.

On April 8, the Moroccan government authorized Moroccan passenger transport companies that provide services between the ports of Morocco and Spain to resume their activity immediately after a two-year suspension.

the Moroccan Ministry of Transport and Logistics invited transport companies operating on the maritime routes linking the northern ports of Tangier, Tangier Med, Nador and Al Hoceima to the Spanish ports to resume their activity.

The ministry also asked companies to respect the health measures adopted by the two countries to curb the spread of covid-19.

The decision by the Moroccan authorities follows the meeting in Rabat between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Mohamed VI of Morocco, held to normalize bilateral relations by gradually reopening land and sea borders, among other measures, in order to put an end to the disagreements of last year.

At the end of the meeting, the two countries announced in a joint press release: “Maritime passenger links between the two countries will be restored immediately and gradually”.

Morocco closed its air, land and sea borders on March 13, 2020 due to the covid-19 crisis. In June 2021, it reopened its maritime links with the ports of Sète (France) and Genoa (Italy), excluding the ports of Spain in the midst of a diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Madrid.

The rift between the two countries was triggered in April 2021 by the hospitalization of Polisario Front leader Brahim Gali in Spain and the subsequent entry of some 10,000 irregular migrants into the Spanish city of Ceuta.

The closure of maritime travel between the two countries has been a blow for millions of Moroccans settled in Europe, in particular for the approximately 800,000 residing in Spain, accustomed to traveling the sea with their vehicles from the various ports in the south of the Spain.

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