The meeting comes at the right time,as Morocco and the EU look look for ways to preserve and strengthen relations.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita held talks with the high representative of the European Union (EU) for external affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, on Wednesday in Brussels.
During the meeting, Borrell and Bourita discussed EU-Morocco relations and developments regarding international and regional issues.
“It is a question of making connections with the new European officials to build on a very positive dynamic launched over the past year with the European Union,” Bourita underlined.
Morocco and the EU maintain strong diplomatic relations with regular cooperation in different fields, including fisheries and migration.
The EU grants Morocco several funds to support the country’s program against irregular migrations and reforms.
In December 2019, the EU granted Morocco €389 million as part of its support for Moroccan reforms, inclusive development, and border management.
Bourita added that Morocco and the EU should strengthen their partnership to face common challenges.
“Morocco has an ambition for more peaceful, more substantial relations with the EU,” he went on.
The EU official, meanwhile, said that Morocco is the largest trading partner for European countries.
Trading partnerships between the two parties accounted for 54,4% of Moroccan trade in 2017.
About 64,6% of Morocco’s exports went to the EU.
“ 56,5% of Morocco’s imports came from the EU. Morocco is the EU’s 22nd trading partner representing 1,0% of the EU’s total trade with the world,” according to the EU.
Total goods trade between the two parties reached €37,4 billion in 2017.
“The EU’s imports from Morocco are dominated by machinery and transport equipment (€6,0 billion, 40,4%), agricultural products (€3,4 billion, 23,0%), and textiles and clothing (€2,9 billion, 19,3%),” the same statement added.
Borell is already familiar with Morocco’s policies having served as Spain’s s minister of foreign affairs before Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
Borell noted that he is completely sure that his country and Morocco will “be able to solve this problem by bilateral means.”
Spain believes Rabat and Madrid should negotiate further to find a solution to the issue.
Morocco, however, believes it has all rights and sovereignty to delimit its maritime without Spanish approval, but said it is open to dialogue and discussion.
Borell said that if Morocco and Spain cannot solve the issue in a bilateral means“we will see what to do. But I trust that it will be resolved bilaterally.”
Both countries share regular cooperation, especially in security and migration. The Spanish government regularly extolls the ongoing collaboration between the two countries and Morocco’s role in maintaining stability in the region with its strict counter-terrorism approach and policies against irregular migration.
The EU official and Bourita also discussed Western Sahara. Borell said that he “took positive note of the serious and credible efforts of Morocco” to find a political solution to end the regional conflict.
The EU representative also “encouraged all the parties to continue their engagement in a spirit of realism and compromise” to find an agreed-upon and mutually acceptable solution for the conflict.