The adoption of the two bills previously adopted by the House of Representatives on 22 January 2020, in a plenary session, within the framework of the ratification procedure, have completed the legislative framework, fixing the limit of the territorial waters, establishing a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of the Southern Provinces of Morocco while incorporating it into the national legal arsenal and establishing also the baselines as well as the continental shelf of the seabed linking Morocco to Spain, Portugal and Mauritania.
The adoption of the two texts are in line with the High Orientations contained in the Royal Address of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, on the 44th anniversary of the Green March, in which His Majesty stressed the necessity to assimilate the configuration of the overall territorial space of the Kingdom of Morocco.
In the same spirit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates indicated that the High Royal Directives aim at filling the legal gap underlined in the national legal arsenal governing the maritime spaces, while adjusting it to the full sovereignty of Morocco on its entire territory and overall territorial waters, as well as airspace, in line with the clear and bold approach advocated by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, for Morocco’s foreign policy.
The two texts aim at adjusting the national legal arsenal to the full sovereignty of Morocco on both its entire territory and its overall territorial waters, bearing in mind that the existing texts date back to 1973 and 1981. From a legal stand point, Morocco is operating the harmonization of its national legislation with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).
The procedure of the maritime space delimitation is of outmost importance as it illustrates an act of sovereignty referring to the International Law of the Sea. The delimitation may result in overlaps with neighboring countries, among which Spain, with whom Morocco is determined to resolve any issue through dialogue.