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The Tunnel Project; It Will Link

Morocco With Spain

Following a pause of 43 years, Spain and Morocco have officially revived
the tunnel initiative that aims to connect both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Moroccan parliament has recently appointed Abdel Kabir Zahoud as
the Director General of the National Company for Studies of the Strait of
Gibraltar. His role will involve reevaluating the long-awaited sea tunnel
project, bridging Morocco and Spain across the strait.

Zahoud is anticipated to collaborate closely with the Spanish Society of
Studies for Fixed Communication through the Strait of Gibraltar
(SEGESCA), the entity responsible for overseeing the project. The concept
of a tunnel linking the two nations was initially introduced in a joint
declaration dating back to 1979. For the past forty years, diplomatic and
political differences have hindered the realization of the 38-kilometer-long
tunnel. As Spain and Morocco endeavor to enhance their bilateral relations,
the undersea tunnel connecting Tangier in Morocco to Tarifa in Spain is
gradually taking shape.

Azzedine Khamrich, an expert in International Relations, interprets the
appointment of the Director as a positive indicator of the progressing
cooperation between Madrid and Rabat. Khamrich highlights the
multifaceted potential of the tunnel, noting that it holds promise in terms of
enhancing traffic flow and boosting economic exchanges between the two
countries. Anticipated to be operational by 2030, the tunnel is projected to
stretch 27 kilometers underwater, reaching a maximum depth of 475
meters. In 2021, SEGESCA, a state-owned company, secured European
funds from the Spanish Recovery Plan to conduct fresh feasibility studies
on the tunnel’s infrastructure.

In a move reflective of their commitment to advancing the initiative, Spain’s
draft budget for 2023 allocates €750,000 to SEGESCA. These funds are
intended to finance new preliminary studies that integrate contemporary
technological advancements and build upon the feasibility studies
conducted approximately three decades ago. Reports from the Spanish
publication El Diario indicate that the Spanish government is dedicated to
taking the “final” and “definitive” actions to bring the long-awaited project to
fruition. They are also prepared to introduce modifications to the initially
proposed route.

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