Europe Maghreb Pipeline: Spanish FM Holds Talks With Morocco, Algeria
“Our Moroccan and Algerian friends want to work together in this area,” Albares said.
Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Monday that he held talks with Moroccan and Algerian officials regarding the future of the Europe Maghreb Gas Pipeline.
According to Europa Press, Albaress said that Spain is guaranteed to receive gas from Algeria despite rupture of ties between Morocco and its eastern neighbor.
In comments he made before the Foreing Committee of Spain’s Congress of Deputies, Albares spoke of holding talks with “Algerian and Moroccan friends.”
He said, “The gas supply to Spain is not in danger because our Moroccan and Algerian friends want to work together in this area.”
The Spanish FM added that no one “has to worry” about this issue in Spain, suggesting the European country’s confidence that recent escalations in Morocco-Algeria relations will not affect gas consumption in Spain.
Algeria is the main exporter of gas to Spain. The gas goes to Algeria through Morocco as part of the Europe Maghreb Pipeline partnership.
With Algeria’s decision to cut relations with Morocco, many observers have said that deepening regional tensions might impede planned talks to extend the contract regulating the supply of gas to Spain through Rabat.
The contract expires on October 31 and, amid recent tensions, Morocco has already announced its willingness to continue operating the Maghreb Europe Gas pipeline.
In response to recent claims that regional tensions - first with Spain and now with Algeria - would lead Morocco to terminate its participation in the tripartite Europe Maghreb Pipeline agreement, Amina Benkhadra, the General Director of Morocco’sthe National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), has insisted Rabat is fully committed to the agreement despite some lingering issues with its neighbors.
“It is our will, as we expressed it verbally and publicly in private discussions, always with the same clarity, and the same consistency,” Benkhadra said recently.
Prior to Algeria’s decision to cut ties with Morocco, Algerian officials had been reassuring Spain that the North African country would make good on its pledge to renew the contract of the Europe Maghreb Pipeline.
Some Algerian reports also claimed Morocco “halted” negotiations to renew the contract.
According to the website Europe Maghreb Pipeline limited (EMPL), over 30% of the natural gas consumed in Spain is transported through Morocco.
Source: Morocco World News.