Rabat and Rome discuss the need to further their “strategic cooperation” in view of the global pandemic and developments in the Sahel and the Mediterranean.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita had a virtual meeting on Friday with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, with the two officials discussing the state of Morocco-Italy relations and EU-Morocco related developments.
With the ongoing travel bans having severely impacted trade between the two countries, Bourita and Di Maio spoke of cementing ties to collectively rise to the challenges and opportunities brought about by the pandemic.
They argued that the present moment, marked by political, social, and economic disruptions, calls for an intensification of relations between Morocco and its key European partners.
Di Maio stressed his country’s commitment to “accompany and support the strengthening of the strategic partnership between the EU and Morocco,” said a statement from the Moroccan foreign affairs ministry.
The top Italian diplomat also “reiterated” his country’s support for “the serious and credible efforts of Morocco as a regional pole of stability and relay of development and growth in Africa,” added the statement.
The Moroccan ministry framed the meeting as a “part of ongoing contacts and regular exchanges between” Moroccan and Italian diplomats in terms of shared interests and “common challenges.”
Noting the “excellence of the multidimensional relations” linking Rabat and Rome, Bourita and Di Maio vowed to support the launching of a “dialogue and cooperation mechanism” to cement Morocco-Italia ties on a wide range of economic and security-related topics.
They notably called for the establishment of a Morocco-Italy economic forum, arguing that this would deepen their strategic convergences on high-priority issues.
Echoing the increasingly popular view of Morocco as a gateway to Africa, Di Maio spoke of Morocco’s continental leadership and appeared to suggest that partnership with the North African country is an invaluable asset for any player interested in Africa and the Mediterranean.