The Chinese ambassador to Morocco thanked the kingdom for its moral support.
El Othmani made the statement during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Morocco Li Li on Thursday, February 20, in Rabat. Li also delivered a message from Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
During the meeting, the senior Moroccan official highlighted the strength of Moroccan-Chinese relations, describing them as “historic and deep.”
El Othmani also expressed the continued support of King Mohammed VI for the bilateral relations, especially after the monarch’s visit to Beijing in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Chinese diplomat presented an overview of his country’s efforts to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic, explaining how their efforts have reduced the number of new infections and deaths.
Li also thanked Morocco and the King for the moral support they gave to China after the novel coronavirus outbreak.
China highly appreciates Morocco and wishes to strengthen and develop its bilateral relations with the North African country, he concluded.
On January 17, a few days before the COVID-19 outbreak first spread beyond China, Morocco’s air carrier Royal Air Maroc inaugurated its first direct flight between Casablanca and Beijing.
The flight was the latest development in the growing multilateral partnership between Morocco and China. Royal Air Maroc later suspended the flight temporarily, saying ticket sales were down amid the health scare.
Since the royal visit to China in May 2016, public and private institutions from the two countries, notably in the fields of industry and tourism, have signed several cooperation agreements.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Morocco grew more than five times between 2016 and 2019, reaching 350,000, after Morocco removed a requirement for visas.
The year 2020 also marks the 60th anniversary of Moroccan-Chinese diplomatic ties. Both countries have pledged to organize cultural events in their capitals for the occasion.