Rabat, November 02, 2011 (MAP)
Rabat, November 02, 2011 (MAP)
Moroccan Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri said Wednesday that since the accession of HM King Mohammed VI to the throne, the Sovereign places Africa at the center of Morocco’s foreign policy.
Fassi Fihri, who responded to a question at the House of Representatives, said that under Morocco’s new Constitution, the country’s relations with African countries are now established as a clear commitment based on cooperation and solidarity.
This impetus of solidarity of the Moroccan diplomacy has led to multiple visits paid by HM the King to several African countries in recent years (20 visits in 13 countries), in addition to strengthening political relations and cooperation with more 40 countries, said Fassi Fihri.
Morocco has also worked for the purpose of consolidating the legal framework, he said, adding that the Kingdom had signed since 1956 until mid-1999 some 907 agreements with African countries, while 801 agreements were concluded between 2000 and 2011.
The intergovernmental partnership was also strengthened through the financing of several development projects and human development programs in areas including health, irrigation, electrification and education, noted Fassi Fihri.
He added that about 8000 students on a grant from 42 African countries are pursuing their higher studies Moroccan universities and academic institutions, as well as the Kingdom’s support to a tripartite cooperation involving international partners and Forums of intercontinental dialogue and cooperation with international powers.
The minister also noted that his department grants a special interest in economic aspects through technical cooperation programs with the private sector participation, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, the drinking water supply, telecommunications, banking, aviation and mining in about 25 African countries.
In this sense, Fassi Fihri said there is an increase in the rate of investment going to the African countries, making Morocco the second African investor in the continent and the first African investor in western Africa.
He recalled that since August 2009, Morocco, in cooperation with its African partners, took the initiative to set up a gathering of African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean which includes 22 countries and whose goal is to boost the joint action and exchange of experiences in various fields, notably sustainable human development and the fight against organized crime and immigration.
The minister also stressed Morocco’s effective role in maintaining peace in some African countries, adding that the Kingdom, which has an over-half-century experience in this field, participated with more than 50,000 members of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) in peacekeeping operations around the world.
Morocco, said Fassi Fihri, continues to work within the framework of South-South cooperation, through the adoption of innovative, practical and pragmatic mechanisms with the aim of making the voice of Africa heard at the international level, to lift the continent out of marginalization and to enable it meet the major challenges and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).