Morocco and Somalia have signed MoUs to set up a Moroccan-Somali High Joint Committee to boost political and diplomatic cooperation.
Rabat – The Somali minister of foreign affairs, Ahmed Isse Awad, has stressed his country’s support for Morocco’s national territorial integrity and appreciated Morocco’s support for Somalia.
“In Somalia, we stand alongside the Kingdom of Morocco on the issue of its territorial integrity,” Awad declared earlier this week. He also said Morocco’s support is “very important for the strengthening of Somali institutions.”
Morocco and Somalia held a signing ceremony on Tuesday, March 26, where they inked three MoUs to strengthen cooperation in politics and diplomacy.
The signing ceremony comes at a time when Somalia is in the grip of a decades-long civil war. Many of the Somali population who were vulnerable to war, drought, and food insecurity, have found refuge in other countries, including Morocco.
Morocco has granted refuge to seven Somali refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told Morocco World News.
According to a 2017 report by the UNHCR, as many as 900,000 Somalis were displaced in the surrounding regions since 1992. In a 2018 report, UNHCR noted that Somalia is the fifth highest country of origin of refugees in the world, with an estimated 1 million refugees worldwide.
Some Somalis escaped the violence and came to Morocco as a destination rather than a transit country. In reference to Morocco’s welcoming migration and asylum policy, UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi described Morocco as a model for other countries to follow.
The Moroccan and Somali foreign ministers, Nasser Bourita and Ahmed Isse Awad, signed the three MoUs on Tuesday.
The first memo created the Morocco-Somalia High Joint Committee to be presided over by the foreign ministers of Morocco and Somalia. The aim is to ensure consultation and political cooperation on bilateral issues relating to regional and international common interests.
The High Joint Committee will implement cooperation at the levels of economy, finance, commerce, culture, science, judiciary system, consulate, and society. It will also monitor the process of putting into practice the agreements, treaties, and MoUs.
The second MoU intends to create a consultation facility between senior officials of the two ministries to hold regular meetings on bilateral relations and regional and international issues.
The third memorandum concerns the consolidation of cooperation on diplomatic training for diplomats of both countries.
Through the partnership, Morocco and Somalia will train young diplomats within a framework of preparatory training courses and facilitate the exchange of experiences and information.
In 2016, Morocco’s Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Taoufik signed a cooperation agreement with his Somali counterpart to improve bilateral exchange in the religious field between Morocco and Somalia.
In March 2018, Morocco’s Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit held a working session with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abou Bakr Eslo, after the 35th session of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers.
The two countries discussed ways to enhance cooperation in internal security, especially in fighting terrorism and radicalization.