Moroccan King Arrives in Spain
Morocco's King Mohammed VI arrived in Madrid Monday on his first state visit to Spain since he took power in July last year.
The king, accompanied by his sister Layla Meryem and several ministers, was met at the airport by Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique.
Mohammed VI, who came to Madrid on a private visit in March, was taken to the Pardo Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, where he will stay until Wednesday.
During his visit, he is to meet King Juan Carlos of Spain and to have a working meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on Tuesday.
The Moroccan king is scheduled to sign several economic accords including one agreement aimed at creating Spanish-financed projects in northern Morocco worth 50 million dollars.
Madrid is furthermore expected to agree to convert some 40 million dollars of Moroccan debts -- estimated to total 879 million dollars -- into private investment.
In recent years Spain has strengthened its presence within its southern neighbor, especially in the relatively undeveloped northern regions of the country.
During the visit, the Moroccan ministers accompanying the king are set to hold bilateral talks with their Spanish counterparts, when they are expected to discuss a renewal of fishing accords between Morocco and the European Union.
The accords expired last year.
Juan Carlos, who Mohammed VI calls his "uncle," is hosting a gala dinner for the sovereign at the Royal Palace, in the heart of Madrid on Monday evening.
Moroccan residents now form the largest foreign community living in Spain, having grown from 15,000 legal residents in 1990 to over 250,000 today, according to Spanish government sources -- MADRID(AFP)
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