Spain and Senegal step up their cooperation in fight against illegal immigration and to boost channels for orderly, legal and safe migration

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, has travelled to Senegal today to address joint cooperation with the Senegalese authorities in the orderly, safe and legal management of migratory flows. “Senegal is one of our priority partners in Africa and a key country for Spain in managing migratory flows”, she stated, following her meeting with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall. This meeting between the Senegalese President and the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs led to the reiteration by Spain and Senegal of their interest in channelling migration through regular channels and their shared commitment to fighting criminal people trafficking networks.
Arancha González Laya also had the chance to visit officers of the Guardia Civil and National Police detachment in Dakar which, together with the Senegalese authorities, are tackling the criminal networks. She also announced the upcoming departure of a maritime surveillance plane with 15 officers (two crew), and a maritime vessel with 25 officers, which will help strengthen the numbers of the Spanish detachment, made up of two offshore Guardia Civil patrol vessels and one National Police helicopter.

During her stay, the minister also met with her counterpart – the Minister for Foreign Affairs and for Senegalese Abroad - Aissatou Tall Sall, to commence political consultations between Spain and Senegal. These consultations helped progress be made in bilateral dialogue in such areas as migration, security and defence, development cooperation, cultural cooperation, a review of pending memoranda and agreements, economic and trade collaboration and support for Spanish companies in Senegal.

At the end of the consultations, the two ministers signed a bilateral Agreement on Social Security, which will allow for the portability of social security contributions, thus helping foster legal migration; encourage the voluntary return of Senegalese residents in Spain back to Senegal while maintaining the legal rights acquired, accumulating the years they have contributed and improving the situation of workers and companies form Spain in Senegal by optimising the calculation of their pensions.

Arancha González Laya also visited the 65 Spanish Air Force servicemen deployed to Senegal, which make up the ‘Marfil’ detachment, engaged in support work for the United Nations MINUSMA and ‘Barkhane’ missions, as well as the Joint Force of the G5 Sahel countries, which have been fighting terrorism since 2013. “Senegal is a key country for the stability and security of the Sahel, as well as the base from where our soldiers contribute to the efforts to fight terrorism”, recalled the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

During the course of her visit, the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs also interviewed a group of female leaders of Senegalese civil society, on the one hand, and met with representatives of Spanish companies in Senegal, on the other.

Minister González Laya has now visited eight African countries, including Senegal, following her other visits to Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. Cooperation on migration has been one of the main issues addressed with all of them, with the aim of stepping up dialogue with some of the main countries of origin of emigrants. Until the summer of 2021, Spain holds the Presidency of the Sahel Alliance, an association of the main development donors, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to boost sustainable development and stability in the Sahel.





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