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    Gibraltar Negotiating Air and Maritime Travel Routes with Morocco

    As Morocco excludes Spain from Operation Marhaba 2021, alternative routes are being explored with new European partners.

    17 Jul 2021

    Rabat - The government of Gibraltar hopes to reopen air and maritime routes with Morocco, reports spanish media outlet Vozpopuli.

    The journal reports that Gibraltar authorities are negotiating with Royal Air Maroc and other companies to “restore transportation links.”

    A Gibraltar representative stated that he’s met with members of the Moroccan community residing in the British territory.

    Official sources of the Gibraltarian government informed the journal that the Minister of Enterprise and Tourism of the territory, Vijay Daryanani, held a meeting with Ali Doussi, a representative of the Moroccan Community Association.

    One of the issues discussed was the situation of Moroccan citizens residing in Gibraltar, who were incapable of travelling back to Morocco from the rock.

    According to the same sources, Minister Vijay Daryanani mentioned the 'efforts' that his government has carried out to 'try to establish maritime and air links with Morocco.”

    The Gibraltar Minister for Enterprise and Tourism said his government will maintain its efforts to re-establish sea and air routes with Morocco as soon as possible, adding that 'the Moroccan community' is 'an integral part of the Gibraltar family.'

    In this regard, he assured the representative of the Moroccan Community Association that the Gibraltarian government is in contact with Royal Air Maroc and other commercial entities to try to establish maritime and air links.

    Morocco announced it will exclude Spain from Operation Marhaba 2021 back on June 6, after a months long diplomatic crisis that has yet to be diffused.

    The Moroccan government stated that Morocco will only accept citizens coming from French and Italian ports, but not from Spanish ones.

    Morocco said in a statement that the decision was due to the precautionary health restrictions the country wishes to implement, to stop the spread of COVID-19.

    Although, considering the timing of the announcement and the severity of the diplomatic rift between the two countries, the Moroccan Government’s decision is considered to be politically motivated.

    The usual transit linking Morocco to Spain is extremely important for the Spanish economy, which has been severely affected for the second year in a row.

    According to data from 2019, Operation Marhaba accomodated 3,243,045 travellers and 760,215 vehicles. It also employs 21,000 people and is worth tens of millions of euros.

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