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Ceuta y Melilla: A future vision (DIEEEO03-2012)

In the last decade, Morocco and Spain have managed to become "natural partners" despite the territorial dispute with Ceuta and Melilla, two cities claimed by the Alawite Sultan of Morocco since independence. The Spanish officials who have paid visits to Morocco underlined that beyond political differences on the future of Ceuta and Melilla, both countries intend to continue strengthening ties in key commercial and security key. Cooperation in combating the threats of the Mediterranean is elementary: From fighting organized crime, terrorism and illegal immigration.

The problem is when, from the North African country was politically instrumentalized the territorial dispute and used as leverage for other records. We saw last year when the central power (Makhzen) called the "troublemakers" in the Moroccan city of Nador, adjacent to Melilla, to star in a wave of protests against Spain for the Moroccan and the Spanish city. The reason for these protests had nothing to do with the historical claim but with a picture from a Spanish helicopter that was done to the king, Mohamed VI, while vacationing in one of his resting places in Al Hoceima, northern Morocco, and that photo that invaded the privacy of the sovereign king so angry protests leading to the border of Beni Enzar, causing a new bilateral crisis that culminated with a visit to a Spanish representative to Rabat. However, political problems do not affect the social reality of both cities, a multicultural and interfaith haven, which could serve as a mirror for the rest of the Spanish population still reluctant to the mixture of different cultures.

Author: Beatriz Mesa García


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Ceuta y Melilla: A future vision
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