Abidjan - King Mohammed VI arrived Sunday in Abidjan for a working and friendly visit to the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, during which the Sovereign will also take part in the 5th African Union-European Union Summit, to be held on November 29-30 in Côte d'Ivoire's economic capital.
Abidjan – King Mohammed VI arrived Sunday in Abidjan for a working and friendly visit to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, during which the Sovereign will also take part in the 5th African Union-European Union Summit, to be held on November 29-30 in Côte d’Ivoire‘s economic capital.
The working visit came a few days ahead of the European Union-African Union Summit in the Ivorian capital.
At the Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport, the King was given a warm welcome by Ivorian president, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who was accompanied by Côte d’Ivoire’s First Lady Dominique Claudine Ouattara.
The Moroccan was also greeted by Ivorian Vice-president Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ivorian State minister in charge of Defense Hamed Bakayoko, governor of Abidjan’s autonomous district Beugré Robert Mambé, mayor of Port-Bouët Commune, and Côte d’Ivoire’s ambassador in Rabat Idrissa Traoré.
The King was also welcomed by Moroccan ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Abdelmalek Kettani, members of the Moroccan diplomatic mission in Abidjan, representatives of the Moroccan community living in Côte d’Ivoire and Moroccan and Ivorian economic operators.
Bilateral relations stronger than ever before
This is King Mohamed VI’s second visit to Cote d’Ivoire in 2017, which is a testimony to the importance Morocco gives to further developing its relations with this West African country.
According to a survey conducted by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Morocco was the top provider of Foreign Direct Investments to Cote d’Ivoire in 2016. With a volume of investments that reached $213 Million, Morocco surpassed France, which had, traditionally, been the top foreign investor in Cote d’Ivoire.
According to the same study, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the strengthening of the advanced economic partnership, as well as the establishment of the Moroccan-Ivory Coast Economic Impulse Group (GIEMCI) on January 21, 2015, “contributed greatly to the development of the trade relations that bind the two countries,” notes Ecofin, adding that “it represents an inexhaustible potential for improvement.”
At the political level, the two countries enjoy excellent relations. Cote d’Ivoire has been among the staunchest supporters of Morocco’s position with regards to the Western Sahara. As such, Ivorian officials have repeatedly expressed their support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Western Sahara and considered it the appropriate way towards reaching a mutually acceptable political solution to the territorial dispute pitting Morocco against the Polisario and Algeria.
During the decade-long civil war that ravaged Cote d’Ivoire between 2002 and 2011, Morocco lent its political support and called repeatedly for the respect of its territorial integrity and it unity. And at the height of the reconstruction phase of the country, King Mohammed visited the country in 2014 along with large delegation that included government officials and businessmen.