The two bills on the delimitation of Morocco’s marine borders and the exclusive economic zone approved in committee will indeed be adopted in plenary, contrary to the information on their suspension.
It is true that this sovereign decision by Morocco has given rise to many comments and concerns among our Spanish neighbors, but the two texts are still on the agenda. Diplomatic sources reveal that Morocco will not withdraw its decision because it is in its sovereign right and does not seek to go beyond the limits defined by the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea. Morocco has, in turn, decided to delimit its borders like other countries, however remains open to any dialogue with Spain.
The kingdom will adopt the median line in the delimitation of its maritime borders with Algeria except that technically, the problem is more complicated with Spain. It should be pointed out that within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, several countries have submitted reports to the United Nations to delimit their borders.
Spain, Portugal, Mauritania, Senegal, Cape Verde and Spain have even submitted joint reports. The first bill aims to amend the law of March 2, 1973 which delimited the territorial waters up to Tarfaya and did not take into account the recovery of the Moroccan Sahara in 1975. The second bill is no longer in line with the current situation, nor with the law establishing an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles off the Moroccan coast.
The daily Al Akhbar reports, in its Friday December 27th edition, that Foreign Minister Nacer Bourita stated that “Morocco remains open with neighboring countries through the spirit of positive cooperation that binds us with Spain”. The minister revealed that the adoption of these bills is driven by factors where political, legal and technical intertwine. This decision, he added, is in line with Morocco’s desire to preserve its vital interests, both at the level of its national territory and in the framework of regional geopolitics.
In doing so, the minister added, Morocco is only filling the legislative void that characterizes the national legal system relating to maritime domains. Bourita thus addressed the various steps taken to update the laws inherent to the delimitation of maritime boundaries. A period that began in 1982 when Morocco signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and which was punctuated by the approval of laws No. 37.17 and 37.18 by the government council in 2017.