TangierMed Port Welcomes 33K to Morocco July 29

Rabat – Moroccan Minister Delegate Abdelkarim Benatiq’s prediction was right: Tangier-Med port received 33,091 travelers on July 29 alone.The minister delegate in charge of Moroccans residing abroad expected the number of Moroccans returning home for the summer to peak in the last two weeks of July before Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide annually.Morocco is expected to celebrate Eid Al Adha on August 22. A statement from the Tangier-Med port proved the minister right, as it said that 33,091 travelers and 6,849 vehicles entered Morocco on July 29 alone.The press release added that since the launch of the “Marhaba” operation to welcome home Moroccan expats on July 5, more than 474,562 travelers returned to Morocco through the Tangier-Med port, as well as 125,707 vehicles.The port noted that the Marhaba campaign is proceeding under “optimal conditions and measures,” owing to the contribution of all involved actors, including local authorities, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), the gendarmerie, and customs, under the auspices of the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity.Eleven ferries were mobilized for the Tangier-Med to Algeciras (southern Spain) sea route. The ferries make 45 daily crossings and have a capacity exceeding 39,000 passengers. They also make four weekly trips to Barcelona, Spain; Sète, France; and Genoa, Italy.Last month, many Moroccan expats protested expensive ticket prices for the ferry between Morocco and Spain.In response, Morocco’s Ministry of Equipment, Transport, and Logistics negotiated with ferry companies to reduce ticket prices for the ferry between Tangier and Tarifa and between Tangier-Med and Algeciras.In July, Secretary of State for Transport Mohamed Najib Boulif shared a statement from the ministry showing ticket prices for each crossing point on Facebook.The official also said that the ministry was closely monitoring the situation and communicating with the ferry companies. read more

Western Sahara Annan recommends 2month extension for UN mission

In his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), circulated to Council members today, the Secretary-General suggests extending the Mission’s mandate until 31 March in order to give the parties time to consider the proposal for a political solution, which provides for self-determination as requested by a Council resolution adopted last July. The Secretary-General recalls that James A. Baker III, his Personal Envoy guiding negotiations to end the conflict over the Western Sahara, travelled to the region just last week to present and explain the proposal to the parties and neighbouring countries. “Every possible option has been presented to the parties, aimed at reaching an agreed solution,” Mr. Annan says, emphasizing that the responsibility of reaching a positive conclusion now rests solely with the parties of the conflict. On the basis of Mr. Baker’s visit, which included meetings with the Moroccan Government and the leadership of the Frente POLISARIO, as well as officials from neighbouring Mauritania and Algeria, the Secretary-General says that he and his Personal Envoy will soon provide to the Council their views of the options available regarding Western Sahara. “As the parties consider the proposal,” the Secretary-General says, “I urge them to keep in mind the years of suffering this long-standing question has caused to thousands of innocent people in the Territory, in refugee camps and who remain prisoners of war.” He also urges the parties to seize this new opportunity to provide the people of the Western Sahara a better life. read more