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Wednesday 16 August 2017

The opening of Australia’s Embassy in Rabat, Prelude to New Era in Bilateral Relations (Ambassador)

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The opening of Australia’s Embassy in Rabat, Prelude to New Era in Bilateral Relations (Ambassador)

The opening of Australia’s embassy in Rabat marks the beginning of a new era in relations between Canberra and Rabat, as it paves the way to a closer collaboration in the economic, political and cultural areas, Australia’s ambassador to Morocco, Berenice Owen-Jones, said.

"In Morocco as in Australia, there is a real political will to strengthen bilateral relations and build a win-win partnership," she said in an interview with MAP.

"We want to put in place a strong structure to improve cooperation in several areas, including trade, investment, peace, security and the fight against terrorism and climate change," she pointed out.

"The opening of an Australian embassy in Rabat and the appointment of an ambassador are an important milestone in our diplomatic network and a considerable asset for the Australian diplomatic presence in Africa », the diplomat noted, adding  that it is a "strong signal for our bilateral relations and a sign of confidence in the future of Morocco."

The two countries celebrated in 2016 the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, and the two peoples share strong ties, with thousands of Australians visiting Morocco every year, she said.

"My mission is to broaden our relations, ensure a long-term commitment, open up new opportunities for cooperation between Australia and Morocco and improve mutual understanding between our countries," the Australian ambassador said, noting that the two countries enjoy excellent relations, marked by a convergence of views on many international issues.

The diplomat praised the role played by HM King Mohammed VI in  strengthening the Rule of Law and promoting good governance, adding that Morocco has been able to mobilize the international community to meet the challenges of climate change during the COP 22 in Marrakech.

She also noted that Morocco and Australia are havens of stability in their respective regions, adding that the two countries should strengthen their collaboration on regional and international issues of common interest.

Morocco-Australia bilateral trade reached $ 89.3 million in 2016. Moroccan exports totaled $ 66.1 million, compared with $ 23.2 million of imports.

"We can do better. We will work together to develop trade and investment in the fields of food and agriculture, infrastructure, maritime transport, sustainable development and mining," she said, adding that about 30,000 Australian tourists vist Morocco every year and spend at least a week in the Kingdom.

MAP 16 August 2017