Rabat - There is no agreement between Rabat and Madrid allowing Spanish migrant rescue boats to dock in Moroccan ports, said, Thursday in Rabat, Minister in charge of relations with parliament and civil society, government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi.

There is no agreement between Morocco and Spain, said El Khalfi who was responding to information saying that the two countries have concluded an agreement allowing Spanish migrant rescue boats to transfer, to the nearest Moroccan port, illegal migrants rescued in the Strait or in the Mediterranean.

This information is false, he said at a press briefing following the weekly cabinet meeting.

Spanish Secretary of State for Security Ana Maria Botella told on Thursday radio channel "Cadena Ser" that the Moroccan-Spanish coordination in terms of illegal migrants' rescuing implies that migrants rescued by the Moroccan authorities are transferred to the nearest Moroccan port, while those saved by Spanish boats become the responsibility of the competent Spanish services. 

Migrant rescue operations by the kingdoms of Spain and Morocco in the Strait and the Mediterranean are conducted in collaboration and in respect of the competences of each country, she underlined. 

New York (United Nations) - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Wednesday the appointment of Major General Zia Ur Rehman of Pakistan as Force Commander of the MINURSO. Major General Ur Rehman succeeds Major General Xiaojun Wang of China, whose tour of duty ended on 17 February 2019, the United Nations said in a release, adding that the UN Chief "is grateful to Major General Wang for his exemplary service and contribution to the work of MINURSO." Major General Ur Rehman has 30 years of national and international military leadership experience, including as commander of military formations on operations and directing staff appointments at Command, Staff and War College levels.

He possesses a range of experiences in other leadership, staff, liaison and operational tasks, including as a Military Observer in the then United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). From 2015 to 2016, he served as Senior National Representative in the United States Central Command Headquarters (CENTCOM) in Florida. Most recently, Major General Ur Rehman served as the Commander of an Infantry Brigade from 2016 to 2017 and of an Infantry Division from 2017. 

Lima - Venezuela seeks to establish cooperative relations with Morocco, said the diplomatic representative of Venezuela's interim president in Lima, Carlos Scull. "We want to establish cooperative relations with Morocco," Scull told MAP following his talks with Morocco's ambassador to Peru Youssef Balla, expressing his country's appreciation of the Kingdom’s position as Morocco “was the first African country to support the government of President Juan Guaido."

This is an “important” support, Scull pointed out, adding that the regime of Nicolas Maduro “had affected the Venezuelan people and seriously damaged our international relations". This regime "has maintained poor relationships with several democratic countries," he went on.

"We welcome the support of the international community, including that of Morocco," the Venezuelan diplomat said. The Kingdom of Morocco and Venezuela, which hosts the largest Moroccan community in Latin America, maintain strong relations of friendship, he noted, stressing the importance of establishing cooperative relations between the two countries.

Some 50 countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, he pointed out.

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