The Russian president has expressed a wish to develop stronger ties with Morocco on several occasions.
Rabat – President of Russia Vladimir Putin sent a message to congratulate Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Throne Day, celebrated on July 30. The day marks the 21st anniversary of the King’s ascension to the throne.
In his message, the Russian president expresses his “sincere congratulations” and his “wishes for good health and success.” He also wishes “happiness and prosperity” for the Moroccan people.
Putin commended the friendly relations linking Russia and Morocco, and encouraged further development of bilateral ties.
“Our countries maintain constructive political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields,” he said.
“I am sure that the further development of bilateral ties fully responds to the interests of our peoples and goes in the direction of the consolidation of security and stability in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Africa,” Putin added.
The message is not the first time the Russian president has commended bilateral relations between Russia and Morocco. On January 5, Putin received the Moroccan ambassador to Russia, Lotfi Bouchaara.
During the meeting, the president highlighted the achievements made by Russia and Morocco in the agricultural, economic, and political fields.
“We have all the instruments to give a multidimensional impetus to [bilateral] relations,” said Putin, recalling the historic ties between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Bouchaara stressed that Morocco and Russia are both nations with histories stretching back over a thousand years and are proud of their identities and their civilizations.
“The visit of King Mohammed VI to Moscow in 2016 gave a decisive boost to bilateral relations. We must continue the work that we started and give substance to this partnership by deepening relations between our two countries,” said the diplomat.
Bilateral economic exchange is increasing, noted Bouchaara, calling for the diversification of the partnership between the two countries by developing cultural, scientific, technological, and tourist relations, along with deepening coordination and dialogue policy on matters of common interest.
Relations between Morocco and Russia have started to develop in recent years, especially in the fields of trade and agriculture.
During the 7th session of the Moroccan-Russian Joint Cooperation Committee in 2018, Moscow and Rabat vowed to strengthen agricultural cooperation.
Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch said agricultural products represent 77% of Moroccan exports to Russia. The value of the products reached MAD 1.5 billion (around $160.6 million).
Russia is also Morocco’s primary citrus export destination. Citrus fruits top Moroccan agricultural exports to the transcontinental country, followed by other fruits and vegetables.
In 2017-2018, Morocco’s exports of mandarin and tangerine to Russia reached 205,091 metric tons, exceeding the exports to the EU, estimated at 166,299 metric tons.
Since 2014, the growth of trade between Morocco and Russia has increased by more than 10%, said Akhannouch during the meeting.
Trade between Russia and Morocco increased in the first half of 2018 to more than $962 million, growing by 20% compared to the same period of 2017, according to Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev.