Rabat – King Felipe VI of Spain has spoken positively of Moroccan-Spanish strategic ties, which he says are based on “mutual trust, respect, and cultural affinity.”
The Spanish monarch reiterated the strategic bond uniting the two neighbors in Seville on Monday at the 5th World Congress of Middle East Studies (WOCMES).
“The relations between Morocco and Spain are strategic because we are neighbors who have shared concerns and who face common challenges and threats that we can transform into opportunities for close cooperation together with will and determination.”
The king also welcomed the friendship between the two countries.
Spanish-Moroccan relation reflected in an artistic way
According to the Spanish king, the strong ties between the two countries are “perfectly reflected in the high patronage of the ‘Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation,’ we, His Majesty King Mohammed VI and myself, share.”
These relations are “reflected, in an artistic and visual way, through this beautiful building where we are gathered today,” said Felipe VI in reference to the Hassan II Pavilion in Seville.
The Spanish king spared no efforts to express gratitude over the contribution of Morocco in making the foundation successful.
Created in 1998, the foundation is based on principles of peace, dialogue, and tolerance, which it promotes through meetings between people and cultures of the Mediterranean.
“I personally remember how much the Moroccan contribution to this great project was decisive, and I appreciate the efforts made by the two countries, throughout these years, for this space to continue to be a Sevillian monument that honors, and for the ongoing dialogue and exchange between the different cultures we share between us and with other countries in the region,” said the king.
Both Morocco and the Regional Government of Andalusia created the foundation, which the king said forms a “remarkable example of what Moroccans and Spaniards can achieve when they join forces to strengthen our relationship.”
Adviser to King Mohammed VI Andre Azoulay; Morocco’s Minister of Communication and Culture Mohamed El Aaraj; and Ambassador of Morocco in Spain Karima Benyaich all attended the inaugural session of the congress.
President of the Andalusian Government Susana Diaz and representatives of the Spanish government and the Andalusian government also attended the congress.
Azoulay calls for further dialogue
The adviser to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI also made a statement in the inaugural ceremony, emphasizing the “outstanding cachet” of the 2018 World Congress of Middle East Studies.
Azoulay, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation, said that this year’s congress is “is haloed by the triple seal of Spain, Morocco, and Andalusia and the pioneering approach and visionary strategy of HM King Mohammed VI.”
Azoulay invited the parties of the meeting to reinforce dialogue and conviviality “forged by the knowledge and respect of all our stories added in the richness of all their diversity.”
The adviser added that the World Congress of Middle East Studies “has had the talent and the will to bring together, for collective, scientific, and expert reflection on how the relations, teachings, or debates are discussed.”
The event began July 16 and will end July 20. It has convened 3,000 researchers and academics from more than 100 countries. The attendees will discuss several themes and issues faced by the Arab-Muslim world.