Moroccan and Canadian Foreign Ministers held talks about several urgent issues, notably counterterrorism and security.
Rabat – The “historic rapprochement” between Canada and Morocco will allow the two countries to collaborate on major world issues, said the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne, on Friday, January 24, in Rabat.
Canada and Morocco share many values that will guide their next moves at the international level, said Champagne at a press conference after meeting with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
The two countries’ policies dovetail in a number of sectors, including the field of peace and security, where they will continue their partnership to combat terrorism and bring stability to the world, he added.
To boost cooperation further, the Canadian official announced that his country is set to launch initiatives to assist Moroccan civil society with a grant of $14 million over a period of five years.
“To this end, we will sign two Memorandums of Understanding for the implementation of these development projects,” added Champagne.
Canada hosts more than 3,000 Moroccan students every year, who “provide a solid foundation for a relationship that can be further nurtured to allow both peoples to benefit from this rapprochement, especially since this is the first time a Canadian FM has visited Morocco,” concluded the minister.
Moroccan-Canadian relations on the right track
Meanwhile, the Moroccan FM assured that relations between Morocco and Canada are moving in the right direction. Morocco is Canada’s fifth trading partner in Africa, with a trade growth that always exceeds 10%.
Morocco is also a top destination for Canadians, with 130,000 Canadian tourists visiting Morocco in 2019, added Bourita.
The Moroccan official emphasized the importance of the direct air route between Casablanca and Montreal, Quebec, in human, economic, and cultural terms.
However, the potential of the bilateral relations “is not yet optimized,” said the minister, expressing Morocco’s willingness to establish a multidimensional strategic partnership with Canada.
The partnership would include regular political dialogue, consultations on bilateral and regional issues, and coordination within regional and international forums.
Bourita, meanwhile, commended the positive trade growth between the two countries and encouraged Canadian investments in Morocco.
Morocco appreciates the role of Canada, which has always been “a credible voice” at the international level, added the Moroccan FM.
The position of Canada, at the crossroads of several worlds, linguistically, geographically, and geo-politically, would allow the deliberations between the two countries to gain more value, underlined Bourita.
The minister recalled that both Morocco and Canada are “Afro-optimists,” believing that Africa has considerable assets and represents the future of the international community, despite the challenges.
Morocco can play the role of a gateway for Canada to the African continent, because of the Kingdom’s African policy that is based on solidarity, stability, and security, concluded Bourita.
Canada supports Moroccan efforts in Western Sahara
During the official meeting, the Canadian minister acknowledged that Morocco has made serious and credible efforts regarding the Western Sahara issue.
Canada joins the UN Security Council in its support for Morocco’s efforts to find a mutually beneficial and agreed-upon solution to the conflict, announced Champagne.
“During our meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss the issue, which is of great importance to Morocco and on which Canada intends to work with Morocco as well as with the international community,” he said.