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Moroccan passengers welcome the return of maritime traffic with Spain

Moroccan policemen check IDs as people disembark from a ship coming from Spain at the port of Tangiers on April 12, 2022   -  
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Shipping companies are gradually resuming passenger transport between Morrocan and Spanish ports which was suspended since 2020. This stands as another sign of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The busy, but short, 14 kilometres route across the Strait of Gibraltar has already been taken by relieved passengers since Tuesday. "We are delighted today to welcome the first ferry coming from Tarifa to the port of Tangier, after a two-year standstil", said Mohamed Ouanaya, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Development Company for the Reconstruction of the Port Area of Tangier (SAPT) at the port of Tangiers.

Morroccans are Spain's largest foreign community with 800.000 Moroccan people living on the Iberian peninsula, according to figures from the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration in December 2020.

"I am very happy about the opening of Morocco's borders (with Spain). I can now come and see my family and spend Ramadan with them.", reacted Firdaous, ferry passenger coming from Tarifa.

Maritime borders reopened last summer but connections between Tangier and Spain's Algeciras and Tarifa ports remained closed because of the situation regarding the Western Sahara territory.

While passengers and buses are not allowed, motorists will have to wait another few days to be able to make the journey, which will be accessible to them on April 18.

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