Rabat – Morocco received a EUR 128.1 million loan from France to fund locomotives projects intended to be carried out by Morocco’s National Railway Operator (ONCF).
The Moroccan-French agreement was signed on Friday, December 23 in Rabat by Mohamed Boussaid, Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance and Jean Francois Girault, French Ambassador to Morocco.
The 128.1 million loan agreement was signed in the presence of Mohamed Rabie Khlie, ONCF’s General Director. This agreement aims to financially support Morocco’s railway company to modernize and revive the country’s electric traction fleet, as well as the locomotive fleet to better meet the needs of users.
The project will also contribute to the protection of the environment, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Girault said that the loan will allow the restructuring of the railways sector in Morocco in order to meet the needs of ONCF, which is a “reliable historical partner.” He added that this project mirrors the willingness of France to support Morocco in its efforts to develop and modernize its transport sector.
Boussaid lauded the loan agreement signed by the two countries, praising the “historic and exceptional” nature of the Moroccan-French partnership. He also stressed the interest of the two countries in strengthening the bonds of cooperation and friendship between Paris and Rabat.
King Mohammed VI participation in the One Planet Summit, which took place in Paris on December 12, was at the heart of the loan agreement. Boussaid took the chance to express his gratitude over the warm and exceptional welcome received by the King and the delegation, which accompanied him to the event.
The Moroccan official pointed out the efforts made by France in supporting Morocco in the establishment of different economic and social development programs.
Girault has also highlighted the “exceptional” partnership ties between the two countries as well as the strength of their bilateral relations based on “mutual trust in various fields.”
The ambassador has also hailed King Mohammed VI’s participation in the One Planet Summit, which “affirms Morocco’s commitment to fighting climate change.”
In October, Morocco received a loan of EUR 80 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed train (TGV ) project.
In 2011, the AFD granted an initial sum of EUR 220 million to the ONCF for the establishment of the TGV project. The TGV was originally scheduled to be finished in 2015, but it was recently postponed to late 2017.