Morocco continues to develop South-South cooperation with its partners on the other side of the Atlantic.
Rabat – Morocco’s Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations and the University of La Frontera signed an agreement in Chile on Monday, January 20 to promote cultural and academic cooperation between the two institutions.
Morocco’s ambassador to Chile, Kenza El Ghali, and the director of communications at La Frontera, Dr. Carlos del Valle Rojas, led the signing ceremony in Temuco.
The institutions agreed to carry out joint research activities and promote exchange programs to researchers and post-graduate students. The two education centers also plan to promote co-publications and exchange educational material.
The University of La Frontera in Temuco, Chile, is an autonomous higher education institution established in 1981.
The Mohammed VI Cultural Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations in Coquimbo, Chile, was established in 2007. The institution aspires to enhance values of openness and understanding between religions and cultures and to promote cultural and intellectual exchange between Morocco and Latin America.
The two countries have cooperated in the economic, cultural, and political realms, and the development in Temuco is the latest fruit of this friendship.
Morocco’s diplomacy in the Americas
Morocco has made major headway in boosting bilateral cooperation with Central and South American countries in recent years.
From politics to culture, Morocco is actively pursuing ties across the Atlantic and consolidating its diplomacy in the Americas under the umbrella of South-South cooperation.
In October 2018, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani held talks with representatives from the Central American Parliament and the Southern Common Market Parliament regarding boosting economic ties with Morocco.
In January 2019, Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani attended the inauguration ceremony of the newly-elected Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.
“The human, commercial and economic relations between” Morocco and Brazil “are very important” and “we wish to develop and diversify them further,” El Othmani announced at the ceremony.
Morocco and Brazil continued to work to improve cooperation, culminating in an official motion by the Brazilian Federal Senate in favor of Morocco’s territorial integrity.
More recently, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Peru expressed their support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, breaking with the region’s tradition of backing the Polisario’s separatist movement in Western Sahara.
The developments came soon after Bourita embarked on a tour of the region in June of 2019 to garner international support for Morocco’s Western Sahara position.
Mexico has also expressed an interest in developing relations with Morocco.
Representatives of Morocco and Mexico met in Rabat earlier this month, and the two countries expressed hope of beginning a new era of cooperation.
Western Sahara, however, is still an elephant in the room of Morocco-Mexico diplomacy.
Mexico recognizes the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and SADR has an embassy in the Mexican capital. Mexico and the SADR have exchanged frequent diplomatic visits since 2010.
Although Morocco has powerful supporters in the Americas, it remains to be seen whether the Western Sahara question will impede Morocco’s diplomatic foothold in the Atlantic Basin.