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SPAIN and Morocco

The Spain-Morocco dispute gets little attention in the US, but it is important because Morocco is relatively pro-Western and Spain views itself as a bridge to the Arab world through Morocco. Spain regretted that it had broken off relations. Moroccan Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissa called off his planned visit to Madrid on September 22 in protest at the alleged landing on the deserted isle known as Perejil in Spain, and Leila in Morocco. Exactly what happened is in dispute. Spain and Morocco have been quarreling over a variety of issues an array of issues including immigration, fishing rights and territorial disputes. Underlying the question of Perejil is Morocco's insistence that two Spanish enclaves on its northern coast, Ceuta and Melilla, be handed over to it. Spain says their future is not up for negotiation.

Ronald Hilton - 9/24/02