Rabat – After his official visits to Ethiopia and Madagascar, King Mohammed VI will continue his African tour by paying a visit to Nigeria and Zambia in early December, according to Le360.
The same source added that the King’s official visits were recently arranged during a talk between the King and officials from both Nigeria and Zambia.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari tweeted last week that he is “grateful to King Mohammed VI for the heartfelt welcome and hospitality” he received during his visit to Morocco to take part in the twenty second Conference of the Parties (COP22), which concluded November 18 in Marrakech.
“I arrived in Morocco amid a warm welcome and tomorrow I will give Nigeria’s speech at the COP22 high-level segment,” Buhari said.
The King’s visit to Nigeria will enhance a bilateral cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding the sectors of agriculture and solar energy.
Besides the economic aspect of the visit, Morocco’s seeks to prompt Nigeria to reconsider its stance on the Western Sahara. Nigeria has been a vocal supporter of the Polisario, and is regarded as belonging to the axis Algeria-Abuja-Pretoria. Nigeria recognizes the self-proclaimed Sarahawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Morocco World News reported earlier this year that Sokoto State in Nigeria revealed “a new agriculture and solar energy collaboration between Rabat and Abuja, “noting that “Morocco has distinguished itself in some critical sectors, as such a relationship between the two states will be of utmost importance to the two parties.”
In the same context, Minister Delegate of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, met with Muhammadu Buhari on July 15, 2016 to discuss the opening of an OCP fertilizer factory in Nigeria.
Following the formal request of the King during the 27th Summit of the African Union (AU) held last July in Kigali, Rwanda to rejoin the AU, the King’s visit will give a fresh impetus to regain its natural seat in the pan-African organization following Morocco’s withdrawal from it in 1984. That decision was fueled by the AU’s decision to accept the self-proclaimed SADR as a full-fledged member state.
King Mohammed VI arrived Saturday evening in Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo, aiming to consolidate South-South partnership and embark on bilateral cooperation underpinned by groundbreaking economic projects.
The King is set to take part in the 16th summit of the Francophonie, which will take place November 22-27 in Antananarivo.