By Youssef Sourgo
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 4, 2013
In a speech he gave during the official dinner hosted in his honor by King Mohammed VI on Wednesday at the Royal Palace of Casablanca, the French President, François Hollande, stated that “France will never forget that Moroccan soldiers came to fight bravely to liberate it during two world wars,” and that the late King Mohammed V who “was ennobled Compagnon de la Libération General De Gaulle,” was “the only head of state to receive this honor.”
Hollande also pointed out that “Morocco is closely linked to France, its people, its history, its language,” adding that “France is united to Morocco by multitudinous human, cultural and economic ties.”
“Several common factors today bring France and Morocco together, said Holland, hinting at the role of Moroccans living in France and the French community living in Morocco, which “are both sources of mutual enrichment in the realms of economy, culture and tourism.”
The French president also reaffirmed France’s confidence in Morocco, a nation he described as having “considerable assets,” best embodied in its “young population” its “stability” and its “respect for traditions that do not impede the march towards modernity.”
Emphasizing the “exceptional” geographic location of the Kingdom, “located at the confluence of the Mediterranean, the Arab world and Africa,” Mr. Hollande noted that Morocco has “managed to build a model that fully encompasses each component of its identity, whether Arab-Islamic, Amazigh, African, Andalusian, Hebrew, Mediterranean Sahara-Hassani,” as enshrined in the Moroccan constitution.”
Hollande also praised the Moroccan model as one that is “built on openness, tolerance and dialogue”, enjoying a richness that few countries have, principally manifested in a “unique historical legacy.”
In the same vein, Holland hailed King Mohammed VI’s decision to “launch a major reform movement” in response to the aspirations of the Moroccan people, which is “like all the other peoples, seek freedom, progress and democracy.”
The French President welcomed the sustained commitment of the King, since the beginning of his reign, to developing the ties between the two countries, while also expressing his commitment to continue the “exceptional” partnership that Morocco and France were able to maintain for decades.
Hollande also highlighted the major projects likely to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of education and training, as well as in the varying production sectors, without losing sight of the requisites of a sustainable development and the conservation of natural resources.
Morocco and France, said Mr. Hollande, share “the ambition to contribute to a more just and more peaceful and secure world,” especially in the Mediterranean and the Sahel.
The French president ultimately thanked the Kingdom for its support to French intervention in Mali to fight against terrorism.