British Secretary of State for International Development, Middle East and North Africa said that the UK “fully supports the UN process and Morocco’s serious and credible efforts.”
Rabat – Moroccan diplomacy continues its efforts to garner support for its position on Western Sahara.
On Tuesday, September 17, in Rabat, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, Middle East, and North Africa Andrew Murrison reiterated his country’s full support for the UN process to find an agreed upon and mutually acceptable political solution to end the dispute over Western Sahara.
The British official said, “It is important to reaffirm the position already expressed by the United Kingdom, that we fully support the UN process.”
The minister added that his country also backs the “serious and credible efforts made by Morocco” in the political process to end the dispute over Western Sahara.
Murrison made his statement after talks with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
The British official visit to Morocco is part of a visit of a UK delegation in the framework of the second session of the Morocco-Great Britain Strategic Dialogue, held in Rabat today, September 17.
Good trade partners
Morocco maintains strong diplomatic ties with the UK.
Speaking at a press conference, Bourita commented that the Moroccan-British relations are “moving towards the establishment of a true strategic partnership.”
Bourita also spoke about trade between both countries, emphasizing that there has been a positive trend in business over the last two years.
He announced that several meetings will take place next year to strengthen the bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Morocco and the UK.
During the UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue, Murrison expressed his satisfaction at being part of the meeting.
“I was delighted to attend the second UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue in Rabat this
week. This important meeting demonstrates the depth and breadth of the friendship between the UK and Morocco,” he said.
The official also expressed hopes of seeing the UK and Morocco’s relationship “go from strength to strength.”
The UK is among the top six foreign investors in Morocco, according to the UK government.
“UK links to Anglophone Africa and Morocco’s Francophone African links create a platform for new business relationships. UK exports of goods to Morocco £573 million in 2014. Bilateral trade in goods and services is worth around £1.8 billion,” the government website said.
UK exports to Morocco include vehicles, iron and steel, mineral fuels, aircraft and spacecraft, and man-made staple fibers.
UK Trade Policy Minister, Conor Burns said during the 2nd UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue that both countries’ “economies have a lot to offer one another, and today’s Strategic Dialogue clearly shows the growing opportunities for great British companies to do business in Morocco.”
Morocco and the UK also expressed determination to reinforce education partnerships.
Representatives from the UK education system visited Morocco in July for potential partners and investors with the goal of opening more British schools in Morocco.
“I would like to see more British education here in Morocco: there is so much the British and Moroccan education systems can achieve together,” British Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, said in a statement. “The visit this delegation of British educators offers is a magnificent chance to take that leap forward together.”
Statistics from Studying-in-UK.org indicates that the number of Moroccan students enrolled at UK universities increased by 13% between the 2014/15 and 2017/18 school years.