The Moroccan ambassador to Spain hosted a reception to mark the anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, attended by representatives of the military, diplomatic, business, cultural and social worlds, including the Ministers of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas Puchades.
Morocco's ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, opened the doors of her official residence on the evening of 30 July to celebrate the 24th anniversary of King Mohammed VI's accession to the throne. Representatives from different sectors of Spanish and Moroccan society, as well as numerous ambassadors, gathered at this meeting, which demonstrated the enormous progress made by his country in these years of reign and the challenges for the future, as well as the close relations and the good moment of cooperation and friendship that both neighbouring countries are experiencing.
After listening to the national anthems of Spain and Morocco, the ambassador took the floor to welcome her guests "whose important presence reflects the friendship and deep ties that unite Morocco and Spain", and to praise the figure of the monarch and his achievements. "We are celebrating 24 years of evolution, modernity and social justice; 24 years during which, under the leadership of our sovereign, Morocco, with determination, has carried out a panoply of political, economic, cultural and social reforms," the ambassador said.
A celebration, she added, which also means a Morocco rooted in its history, but looking to the future, a Morocco attached to its monarchy, which is on its way to becoming a modern nation, and which is governing itself as an emerging power in a changing world.
The ambassador also highlighted the stability and development of her country thanks to the King's "visionary leadership" and his commitment to the future, as he has laid, she said, the foundations of a "key and supportive country in the region and a land of peace, tolerance and coexistence".
Among the "wise decisions" taken by Mohamed VI, Benyaich highlighted the Family Code, which enshrines the rights of men and women; the migration and asylum policy, which has allowed thousands of migrants to be regularised and provided better conditions for a dignified life; Morocco's return to the African Union; the establishment of solidarity and social justice to improve the lives of citizens; the consolidation of a democratic project whose constitution enshrines human rights and parity between men and women; and the implementation of large-scale projects in infrastructure, technology, innovation, renewable energies, green hydrogen...
She also highlighted the commitment to the creative genius of young people, highlighting a group of young Moroccans who have created a prototype hydrogen-powered car; and her country's commitment to the UN's 2030 Agenda.
"Deep friendship" with Spain
Before her guests, who included the Ministers of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas Puchades, the ambassador highlighted the importance of celebrating the Throne Festival "in the capital of a neighbouring country that is home to more than a million Moroccans, the majority of whom are fully integrated and who contribute to Spain's development". She spoke of the excellent secular, strategic, human, economic and social relations that unite the two countries, as well as their deep friendship, a friendship, the ambassador stressed, that is nourished by their shared history, and by "a global, continuous and constantly evolving cooperation".
She also referred to the ties of friendship between the two kings, Mohammed VI and Felipe VI, and to relations that have been strengthened by two important events: the visit of Spanish President Pedro Sánchez on 7 April 2022, following the King's invitation; and the High Meeting held in Rabat. The ambassador recalled that a joint declaration was sealed based on respect, permanent dialogue and an ambitious roadmap "in favour of prosperity and development".
Among this joint work between Spain and Morocco, Benyaich wanted to highlight the fight against illegal immigration, human trafficking networks and terrorism; the cooperation for legal and controlled migration that allows more than 16,000 seasonal women to arrive in the fields of Huelva and Almería to work with dignity in the reproduction of red fruits; and the coordination for the proper development of Operation Crossing the Strait, which in 2022 meant the return of more than 3 million Moroccans on holiday.
On an economic level, she indicated that Spain is the main partner with commercial exchanges that reach 21,000 million euros, with more than 20,000 Spanish companies with regular commercial relations with the neighbouring country and more than 1,000 businessmen who have settled in Morocco; at the same time, large Moroccan companies are deciding to invest in Spain, such as the phosphate OCP.
She did not overlook the cultural issue, with the recent creation of the Morocco Chair at the University of Salamanca, an exhibition at Casa Árabe, and the mobility of students, who represent 10% of foreign students, some 7,000 people. Nor did she forget the joint Morocco-Spain-Portugal candidacy for the 2030 World Cup, which she described as "historic" and which reflects "the trust and cooperation of the two governments to organise an event of such magnitude", which, she added, will offer great opportunities for the two peoples.
"We are destined to move forward together, we can be a very promising future partnership to face the challenges and challenges and also to take advantage of the opportunities and look to the future with serenity", the ambassador concluded, but not before sharing a "long live the friendship between Morocco and Spain".
After her words, the guests enjoyed a pleasant evening in the gardens of the Madrid residence, where they were able to taste typical Moroccan dishes based on vegetables, lamb, chicken and delicious desserts, and enjoy the music.