The Libyan file could be one of the key topics addressed in the message from the King.
By Safaa Kasraoui, Yahia Hatim
Rabat – Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita conveyed a verbal message from King Mohammed VI to Tunisian President Kais Saiedon June 10, conveyed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
Saied received Bourita at the presidential palace of Carthage, near the capital Tunis, on Wednesday, the Tunisian Presidency announced in a statement.
According to the press release, King Mohammed VI’s message regarded “bilateral relations, the means to further develop them, and regional and international situations.”
Bourita also conveyed the King’s greetings to the Tunisian president, the statement added.
While the statement did not offer many details, the situation in Libya could be one of the key topics mentioned within the King’s verbal message.
Addressing the issue would not come as a surprise if it did indeed occur, as the unrest and continued conflict in Libya has been worrisome for countries in North Africa and throughout the Maghreb.
Morocco and Tunisia have expressed similar positions on the matter.
The situation has urged Morocco to continue to condemn international interference and the presence of foreign military forces in Libya.
Morocco has been one of the countries inviting the parties to the conflict to abide by the 2015 Skhirat Agreement as the basis to end the crisis.
The 2015 agreement gained support from the United Nations and the signature of all parties to the conflict
After finalizing the agreement in 2015, the UN issued a statement to welcome its “historic signing,” indicating its support for Skhirat to serve as the basis to end the crisis.
The situation in Libya has continued to deteriorate since the 2011 revolution, and has worsened due to foreign military intervention.
Bourita reiterated this position on June 7 during a phone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya in the Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Taher Siala.
Tunisia expressed the same position in May during a phone call between Libya’s Prime Minister, Fayez al Sarraj, and Tunisian President Kais Saeid.
A statement from the Tunisian Presidency said that Saied reaffirmed Tunisia’s position in favor of “the international legitimacy and an inter-Libyan solution which reflects the will of the sovereign Libyan people to decide their future without any interference.”
After Egypt introduced the Cairo Declaration earlier in June, Morocco again maintained the position shared by the two countries — that a solution must come through the framework of the Skhirat Agreement, without international interference, which aligns with Saied’s statement.
Morocco and Tunisia maintain positive diplomatic relations. Tunisian and Moroccan officials often exchange official visits and engage in phone conversations to discuss bilateral cooperation.
In October 2019, a delegation of Moroccan officials flew to Tunis to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the new Tunisian president.
In a statement to the press in October 2019, the President of Morocco’s House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, said, “with a delegation composed of representatives of the Moroccan nation, it is an extremely strong message that we will transmit, a message of respect and fraternity that the king has always shown towards the Tunisian leaders since independence.”
El Malki emphasized the “depth of the long-standing” relations between the two countries.
On January 16, King Mohammed VI held a phone conversation with the Tunisian president.
According to a statement from the Royal cabinet, the phone call served as an opportunity to recall “the strong historical relations between the two brotherly Maghreb countries and to agree on an exchange of visits, soon, between the two heads of state.”
In terms of industrial investments, Morocco is home to several Tunisian factories. In March, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, signed an investment contract with the president of Tunisian dairy firm Land’Or, Hatem Denguizli, to open a plant in Kenitra.
The plant is set to create 102 direct job opportunities by the beginning of 2021.
The two countries also benefit from educational partnerships. At the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, Morocco’s Ministry of Education offered 100 student scholarships as part of the cultural and scientific cooperation program between Morocco and Tunisia.
The scholarships allow Moroccan students to enroll at Tunisian schools for medical studies, engineering, accounting, architecture, dentistry, and pharmacology.