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Spain, Morocco talk over N African tension

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Spain, Morocco talk over N African tension


Spain has sent one of its top government ministers to Morocco, amid growing strains over alleged abuse at its two enclaves on the North African coast.

The visit comes after Spain’s King Juan Carlos phoned his Moroccan counterpart Mohammed VI in a bid to ease the tense situation.

Interior Minister Alfredo Rubalcaba’s talks with counterpart Taieb Cherkaoui focused on police cooperation, terrorism and illegal immigration and have been described as “cordial”.

The countries have close links but tensions simmer over Melilla and Ceuta. Madrid reaffirmed its sovereignty in May after the Moroccan government called for dialogue.

Earlier this month, Moroccan demonstrators set up a roadblock to stop trucks of fresh produce from entering Melilla.

They were angry at reports of a string of alleged incidents, including beatings, targeting Moroccan nationals and attributed to Spanish border police.

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