The Moroccan royal palace said on Tuesday that King Mohammed VI will meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Rabat on Thursday, as their countries seek to patch up a diplomatic dispute that flared last year.
King Mohammed will hold official talks with Sanchez and will host an Iftar banquet in his honor.
Relations have improved between the two countries after Spain announced in a letter to the King in March its support for Morocco’s autonomy plan “as the most serious, realistic and credible basis for settling the dispute” over the Western Sahara.
The letter reflected a shift in Spanish policy in favor of Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that Morocco considers its own but where the Algeria-backed Polisario Front seeks to establish its own state.
In April 2021, Morocco was angered after Spain admitted Polisario leader Brahim Ghali for medical treatment, saying it had not been informed.
Morocco warned that if Ghali left Spain, where he faced human rights charges, without a trial it could cut diplomatic ties.
According to the royal palace in Rabat, the letter from Sachez said: “Spain considers the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco in 2007, as the most serious, realistic and credible basis for settling the dispute.”
Sanchez also said all the UN Security Council resolutions since 2007 have welcomed the autonomy plan and the “serious and credible efforts” made by Morocco.
He stressed that the new phase in relations will be “based on mutual respect, the completion of agreements, the absence of unilateral actions and the permanent transparency of communication.”
The PM reiterated his determination to work together to address common challenges, especially cooperation to manage the flow of migrants in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean.
He said these steps will be taken “to ensure the stability and territorial integrity of the two countries.”