Brussels - Morocco is among Belgium’s most important partners, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders said, noting that the two countries have a lot to gain from sustained and effective cooperation in several fields.
Brussels – Morocco is among Belgium’s most important partners, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders said, noting that the two countries have a lot to gain from sustained and effective cooperation in several fields.
Reynders, who will start a working visit to Morocco this Wednesday, said, in an interview with MAP, that the relations between the two kingdoms are excellent.
The Belgian official, who underlined the human dimension of bilateral relations given the importance of the community of Moroccan origin in Belgium, said that intense relations are maintained at all levels through regular political visits and exchanges between economic operators.
In this year, a Belgian economic mission will visit Morocco and “the Year of Morocco” will be organized by the French Community of Belgium through several cultural events, he announced.
Regarding trade, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister stressed that Morocco and Belgium are important partners in this sector, with Belgium being Morocco’s 8th largest supplier and its 9th largest customer.
Reynders emphasized that “Morocco’s location as a gateway to Africa, further strengthened by its rapprochement with ECOWAS, is of interest to Belgian companies”, adding that Belgian companies are already involved in the development of Moroccan port cities, while other prospects are available including in the areas of renewable energy, wastewater treatment and the medical sector.
The Belgian official called for supporting economic partnerships between Moroccan and Belgian groups, as well as triangular cooperation with other African partners.
Morocco and Belgium enjoy good relations in several areas, including justice, security, fight against terrorism and migration, he said, noting that good cooperation between Moroccan and Belgian police and intelligence services is necessary to address common security challenges.
The two countries “also share a common desire to promote peace and stability, especially on the African continent, he said.
Belgium welcomes the momentum given by HM the King to Morocco’s African policy, he said, adding that Morocco’s return to the African Union is a “key moment for the organization and the continent.”
The Belgian minister also lauded the “leadership” of HM King Mohammed VI regarding the migration issue.
Commenting the Moroccan religious model, Reynders said that “the way Islam is lived and taught in Morocco has a definite impact in our country given the large proportion of citizens of Moroccan origin in Belgium.”
“Moroccan Islam is therefore a source of interest for us”, he pointed out, while expressing his willingness to learn more about Morocco’s experience in de-radicalization during his visit to Morocco.