The Spanish Government has officially confirmed the date of Pedro Sánchez's visit to Rabat after the Council of Ministers held in the morning at the Moncloa Palace. Minister Albares has specified that Pedro Sánchez and King Mohammed VI will dine together to celebrate Iftar on Thursday night.
As already indicated by Moroccan and Spanish media sources, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares will travel to Morocco on Thursday 7 April, specifically to Rabat, to meet with King Mohammed VI.
"The President of the Government will travel to Morocco to meet with the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, as they had agreed in a telephone call a week earlier," announced the minister, Albares. He added that this working meeting will be followed by an Iftar to which the King of Morocco has invited Pedro Sánchez.
Albares wanted to attach special importance to this detail, because of the significance of Iftar for Muslims. According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Iftar is a celebration of the breaking of the fast, during the month of Ramadan, which is celebrated among family members and close friends. "Inviting someone from outside the family circle to a Ramadan iftar is a very strong sign of friendship on the part of King Mohammed VI", Albares summarised.
As Minister Albares explains, Iftar is a daily celebration of Ramadan, a very important time for Muslims during the month of fasting. It is the first meal after sunset. Traditionally, Muslim families gather for it, sometimes inviting close family friends.
According to Spanish journalist Pedro Canales, Morocco's King Mohammed VI is thus bypassing the protocol of the Makhzen, his circle of power, by inviting Pedro Sánchez to such a dinner. It can be interpreted as an open hand extended to the prime minister to put relations between the two countries in order in a sincere manner.
At the press conference following the Council of Ministers, Minister Albares was also able to give a brief overview of the agenda for the trip to Morocco. As the minister announced, the agenda for the trip was almost finalised at the time of his appearance before the media.
So far it is known that on Thursday afternoon, President Pedro Sánchez will arrive in Rabat, and the celebration of Iftar in the company of Mohamed VI will occupy most of his time that day.
"There will not be time for much else on Thursday," Albares explained at a press conference. Pedro Sánchez is expected to spend the night in Rabat, and the following day he will have an agenda "parallel to the official one" with a different content to his meeting with the King of Morocco Mohammed VI and the celebration of Iftar.
Finally, during the ministers' appearance, Albares was asked by several journalists about the relationship between Spain and Algeria, which has been damaged following the rapprochement with Morocco and Spain's approval of the Moroccan proposal for Western Sahara. Minister Albares repeated in his interventions that Algeria is a strategic partner of Spain. "It has always scrupulously respected its international gas contracts. It is a hallmark of Algerian identity, and Spain has always valued this commitment to supply contracts".