Tuesday 5/17/22
TRANSIT

Spain to mobilize 16,000 police officers for Operation Crossing the Strait

Isabel Goicoechea recalled the logistical and security challenge posed by the OPE, with the movement by sea of more than three million people and more than seven hundred thousand vehicles over a period of three months
The Spanish and Moroccan delegations gathered in Rabat to discuss Operation Crossing the Strait 2022. Photo: Ministerio del Interior.
The Spanish and Moroccan delegations gathered in Rabat to discuss Operation Crossing the Strait 2022. Photo: Ministerio del Interior.

The Undersecretary of the Spanish Ministry of Home Affairs, Isabel Goicoechea, and the Moroccan Director of Migration and Border Surveillance, Khalid Zerouali, chaired the meeting of the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee for the preparation of Operation Crossing the Strait (OPE, in Spanish) 2022 last week in Rabat.

Among other issues, the meeting addressed the operational arrangements that both countries are going to put in place to guarantee the development of the operation. In this sense, Spain will set up a security operation for this edition that will involve 15,995 National Police and Guardia Civil officers.

According to the Spanish government, the measures being taken between Spain and Morocco are based on a number of factors, including the fluidity and security of transit, assistance to travellers and the prevention and protection of public health. This year special emphasis will also be placed on health controls derived from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the meeting chaired by Goicoechea and Zerouali, the fleet plans to be implemented to guarantee an adequate supply for the daily traffic of passengers and vehicles were also discussed. The reinforcements of troops to be mobilised in the ports to guarantee transit, both from Europe to Africa and vice versa, were also on the agenda.

Finally, both countries agreed to reinforce and coordinate information exchange channels to continue working on aspects such as the management of peak travel days, the possibility of exchanging tickets and other conditions for maritime crossings.

More than three million people

Isabel Goicoechea recalled the logistical and security challenge posed by the OPE, with the movement by sea of more than three million people and more than seven hundred thousand vehicles over a period of three months.

"It is the largest mechanism of its kind in Europe and one of the most important in the world," she stressed.

The undersecretary also referred to the bilateral cooperation that has made it possible to successfully carry out Operation Crossing the Strait since 1986.

"Beyond the data, OPE is an example of good coordination between neighbouring countries, whose excellent results in recent campaigns are the result of the great preparatory work of our technical teams," she said.

Spain to mobilize 16,000 police officers for Operation Crossing the Strait
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