After signing three economic and social cooperation agreements, CAR’s top diplomat reiterated that Morocco has the Central African Republic’s full support in the Western Sahara dispute.
Rabat – A productive day of discussions in Rabat between the foreign ministers of Morocco and the Central African Republic (CAR) resulted in three new cooperation agreements and renewed vows to strengthen bilateral ties.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita received on Thursday his Central African counterpart, Sylvie Baipo-Temon, who brought with her a message from CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera to King Mohammed VI.
The two ministers held talks on ways to improve ties in several areas and signed cooperation agreements related to handicrafts, social solidarity economy, health, and tourism.
“The Kingdom is among CAR’s privileged partners,” Baipo-Temon said during a press conference after the meeting, according to Morocco’s state media.
To strengthen the partnership between Morocco and the Central African Republic and promote the exchange of experience and know-how, the two countries’ top diplomats signed three economic and social cooperation agreements.
The first aims to establish the framework for collaboration in the field of craftsmanship and social solidarity economy. Social solidarity economy refers to an ethical approach to economic development that prioritizes the welfare of people and the planet over profits.
Under the agreement, Morocco and CAR commit to cooperating in areas relating to technical assistance, vocational training, partnership promotion, and capacity building.
The second text is a Memorandum of Understanding. It defines the framework for public health cooperation between the Central African Republic and Morocco through the exchange of relevant experience and the implementation of agreed-upon programs.
Cooperation between hospitals and health establishments in the two countries is also a focal point of the second agreement.
Morocco and the Central African Republic signed a third cooperation agreement relating to tourism. The text aims to allow the two countries to promote tourism and facilitate cooperation between their central tourism bodies, their national tourism and transport establishments, and their professional tourism agencies and associations.
The third agreement with the Central African Republic is similar to the text Bourita signed with Guinea-Bissau’s foreign minister on Wednesday, underscoring Morocco’s interest in expanding its tourism relations with African states.
The agreements “strengthen the legal framework of our relations,” Bourita said to the press after the signing.
The Libyan crisis was also a topic of discussion between Bourita and Baipo-Temon on Thursday. The top Central African diplomat welcomed Morocco’s mediation efforts in the crisis and the recent hosting of two rounds of inter-Libyan dialogue in Bouznika.
She noted that Morocco’s efforts resulted in comprehensive agreements between representatives of the Libyan High Council of State and the House of Representatives.
“This inter-Libyan dialogue led by Morocco testifies once again that Morocco is one of the pillars not only of economic growth in Africa but also of its stability,” Baipo-Temon said.
She added that King Mohammed VI’s diplomatic, political, and economic actions and visions “have placed Morocco at the forefront of the African and international scene.”
Baipo-Temon took the opportunity to reiterate the Central African Republic’s stance on the Western Sahara question, stating, “Morocco has all our support.”
“I can assure you that our challenges are common and that the support of the CAR to the efforts led by Morocco remains constant,” she said during the press briefing with Bourita.
Morocco’s foreign minister expressed the country’s appreciation for CAR’s “constant position in support of the Moroccan character of the Sahara.”
“This position has always been active, both bilaterally within the African Union, or within the framework of the United Nations and other regional and international organizations,” he remarked.
In January 2020, the Central African Republic opened a general consulate in Morocco’s southern city of Laayoune. Bourita and Baipo-Temon co-chaired the inauguration ceremony, which made CAR the fifth country to open a diplomatic representation in the “contested territory.”
Stability and prosperity
During the press conference with Baipo-Temon, Bourita reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to supporting the Central African Republic as the country works to stabilize and consolidate its future development.
Morocco’s action is one of solidarity with the Central African people and includes technical cooperation and academic training, Bourita said. He added that Morocco has always “been at the side of the Central African people.”
Baipo-Temon expressed CAR’s gratitude for the constant interest that Morocco takes in her country’s stability and development.
The CAR foreign minister highlighted Morocco’s rehabilitation of the hospital of Bangui and its offering of scholarships and training for Central African students as evidence of the strong bond between Morocco and the Central African Republic. She added that Royal Air Maroc will soon resume flights to the CAR capital, Bangui.
The top diplomat also emphasized Morocco’s multifaceted support for CAR within the framework of security programs, citing the presence of a Moroccan contingent within the UN Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA).
Morocco was the first country to send peacekeepers to CAR upon the outbreak of civil war, even before the UN launched its peace mission in the country. More than 750 Moroccan men and women are currently deployed within the mission.
Morocco maintains a key role in the country’s stabilizing efforts as chair of the Central African Republic Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
Earlier this month, during the second ministerial meeting of the Configuration, Bourita reiterated Morocco’s “unwavering support” for the country and its aspirations to see lasting stability and prosperity. He added that the Configuration will continue to focus on securing conditions for the CAR’s upcoming elections in late December.
On Thursday, Bourita relayed Morocco’s “vibrant tribute to the President of the CAR who, thanks to his determination and courage, has been able to reach an agreement with the armed groups, just as he is ensuring the success of the next elections, which will be historic for the future of this country.”