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kilometres manoeuvres morocco off fuerteventura launches naval

Morocco launches naval manoeuvres 125 kilometres off Fuerteventura.

Morocco launches naval manoeuvres 125 kilometres off Fuerteventura.

Rabat's decision could respond to the tension generated by the EU Court of Justice last week in relation to the Sahara

The Royal Moroccan Navy begins next Friday three consecutive months of naval manoeuvres in the south of the country and in the waters of Western Sahara, off the Canary Islands, only 125 kilometres from its coasts, according to the newspaper El Confidencial.

These naval exercises come at a time of growing tension between Morocco and the European Union, after it became known that the Advocate General of the EU has positioned herself in favour of annulling the fisheries agreement between the European Union and Morocco, against the backdrop of the Western Sahara dispute.

According to Brussels, Morocco is a preferred partner, but the fisheries agreement has a stumbling block: it involves the granting of fishing licences in Western Sahara's waters, with the sovereignty of that territory yet to be defined. Thus, in practice, the agreement between Brussels and Rabat means recognising Moroccan control of the coastline of the former Spanish colony, explains Canarias 7 in its digital edition.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, said a week ago that the conclusions of the Advocate General of the European Union are not final and defended the legality of the protocol.

link to article for pic
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The mini-manoeuvres of the Moroccan navy sow confusion in the Canary Islands

These are exercises of 4 circular zones of 2 miles attached to the coast of the Alawite country

Sources and photography R.J.M.

When headlines rule, information is relegated to the background, and almost always the media tries not to spoil a "good headline" with the truth. In this sense, everyone is free to use information, but it is important to know what you are talking about, to know the data and to manage what you say when representing public bodies and political parties.

Morocco's manoeuvres are not near the coasts of the Canary Islands, they are not on the high seas and they are not military manoeuvres in the strict sense. What's more, they are mini-manoeuvres without any military repercussions. These are naval exercises to be carried out at four points along the coast of the continent, with a limit of up to 1.5 kilometers from the African coast.

According to the report of the NOTICE TO MARINERS of Rabat, documents that specify the manoeuvres to be carried out in the area, the type of naval exercise to be carried out by the Moroccan navy and its coordinates are specified.

In this sense, there are 4 circular areas with a radius of 2 miles, very close to the coast, in jurisdictional waters and hundreds of miles from the Canary Islands. It is true that there is a space off the coast of El Aaium that can be considered 125 kilometers from the Canary Islands, but it is still an exercise in a circular radius of 2 miles on the coast.

This exercise in an area of the disputed territory of Western Sahara may be considered illegitimate by one of the parties to the conflict, but in fact the area is administered by the Alawite government.

The rest of the areas, as the maps indicate, are Agadir, Ifni, and Dahjla, another of the important areas for Morocco in Western Sahara and where a large port for freight traffic is being built.

Low-impact exercises with no military significance

According to specialized sources, this type of coastal exercise only seeks to develop the operability of its cabotage fleet, primary function, coastal control.

In this sense, it should be reported, according to these sources, that "the Alawi Navy is eminently coastal, it does not have a projection of the high seas, it operates under the umbrella of its land aviation, lacking submarines or embarked aviation, in any case some helo".

On the other hand, and in relation to the psychosis aroused in the Canary Islands by any movement by Morocco, it must be made clear that "it is a navy without the capacity to project an amphibious landing in the Canary Islands", say these sources.

The bulk of the Alawi navy is made up of the 3 new corvettes, some naval analyst classifies them as frigates, SIGMA Class multirole; armed with Exocet missiles, designed to control its EEZ coast. They are not ships to be offshore for a long time.

In this sense, the author of the article in the confidential Ignacio Cembrero pronounces himself who, in response to the comments in X of the expert R.J.M., explains that "The maneuvers have no military significance. These are policies following the pronouncement of the Advocate General before the Court of Justice of the EU"

link to article for pics and maps
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