Moroccan ambassador's return marks end of spat

7th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

The Moroccan ambassador to Spain will return to Madrid next week.

7 January 2008

MADRID - The Moroccan ambassador to Spain will return to Madrid next week, putting an end to a two-month-long diplomatic crisis that erupted when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía visited the contested Spanish North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in early November.

According to diplomatic sources, ambassador Omar Azziman will be back in Madrid in time for a meeting of the Alliance of Civilisations forum in the Spanish capital on 15 January, which is due to be attended by Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri. The ambassador's return follows a visit to Rabat last week by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos, who handed Fihri a letter of reconciliation addressed to King Mohammed VI. Moratinos described the initiative as an attempt to get Spanish-Moroccan relations back on track after Moroccan protests over the Spanish monarchs' visit to Ceuta and Melilla, cities that have been Spanish for centuries but that have long been claimed by Morocco.

The diplomatic crisis over the last two months was the worst since 2002, when disputes over fishing rights and immigration led to a total breakdown in relations culminating in a military standoff over the Mediterranean islet of Perejil.

[Copyright El Pais / Ignacio Cembrero 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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