Morocco is committed to “Dialogue” with Spain to clarify the controversy that arose in March, when it made the extension of its maritime waters to Spanish waters official. In these terms, the Moroccan King Mohamed VI has expressed himself this Saturday.
He insisted, in his speech for the 45th anniversary of the Green March, on the need for the “enormous potential that the Moroccan maritime space holds” to “bear fruit”. Of course, he has promised to do so in dialogue with Spain, whom he has described as a “friendly country”.
“Respecting the association that unites us and far from imposing unilaterally the politics of fait accompli ”, he explained. In this sense, he recalled once again that “the domain and borders of the maritime spaces that are located under the sovereignty of the Kingdom”. It should be remembered that it was Mohamed VI who signed the two laws with which his country extended its maritime border towards Spain and the Occidental Sahara, including in its new delimitation waters requested by our country in the southern territory of the Canary Islands.
Specific, with the two regulations, Morocco establishes its territorial waters at 12 miles, delimits its exclusive economic zone at 200 miles, and decides to extend its continental shelf up to 350 miles. In this way, it would extend its legal protection over the maritime space including Western Sahara to the city of Lagüera and in the northeast to Saidia, on the border with Algeria. To the west, the expansion to 350 miles would include a part of the Canarian waters that Spain has requested from the UN since 2014, when it decided to expand its continental shelf up to 350 miles, the maximum allowed.
Upon learning of the claims of the neighboring country, the Canarian government has already transferred the Minister of Foreign Affairs, AranchaGonzálezLaya, his concern about the eventual overlapping of the waters and warned that the Canary Islands would not yield “not a millimeter of its waters.” Laya replied with a message of tranquility since Morocco has not drawn up a specific route and assured that, if Canary Islands waters were attributed, Spain would file a complaint with the UN.
Each country can establish a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone that it can explore and exploit, and it can even extend its continental shelf – the sea floor and subsoil – up to 350 miles, if there is space for it. The problem, as the experts explained to this newspaper, is that there is not so much continental shelf for each country, so it is the international authorities who have the last word, after negotiations between countries.
Each state can operate within its 350 nautical miles and “explore and exploit natural, mineral, fossil and biological resources”, As the official Moroccan gazette points out, it is that within the expansion approved by the North African country, in the area that Spain also claims, there is a large seamount that hides great potential wealth. It is Mount Tropic and stores tons of tellurium and other strategic minerals for the development of green technology. However, despite the more than probable interest in this underwater treasure, neither of the two countries will be able to access it in a short term given its great depth and that there is no technology that today can reach the.