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Spain extends land border closure with Morocco

MADRID (AFP) – Spain on Saturday announced its two enclaves in North Africa, the European Union’s only land borders with the continent, would remain closed for 15 days, dashing hopes they would finally reopen after two years.

The frontiers of the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla were first shut in spring 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and stayed closed during a diplomatic crisis in 2021 between Madrid and Rabat.

The borders were due to reopen on Saturday at midnight.

But an order published in the official gazette said they would remain shut for “15 days so that the conditions for the gradual and orderly reopening of border posts at the entry and exit of Ceuta and Melilla are concluded”.

The Spanish interior ministry said the police force had been “strengthened” in the two enclaves.

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