Thursday 2 February 2023

12th Morocco-Spain HLM Reinforces Kingdoms' Adherence to Renewed Cooperation Process, Says Akhannouch

12th Morocco-Spain HLM Reinforces Kingdoms' Adherence to Renewed Cooperation Process, Says Akhannouc

The 12th Moroccan-Spanish High-Level Meeting (HLM) reinforces the adherence of the two Kingdoms to a renewed process of bilateral cooperation, which meets the strong aspiration of HM King Mohammed VI and HM King Felipe VI to anchor the bilateral strategic partnership, said, Thursday in Rabat, the Head of Government Aziz Akhannouch.

This meeting, which is an opportunity to celebrate the historical relations and the ties of Moroccan-Spanish friendship, also allows to translate the major orientations of the partnership into a clear roadmap to serve the interests of the two friendly peoples, said Mr. Akhannouch at the opening of this session of the HLM that he co-chairs with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sánchez.

He recalled that the visit of Sánchez to Morocco, at the invitation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, is a turning point in the implementation of the new vision of relations between the two countries, praising the work done since the last session of the High-Level Meeting, held in Madrid in 2015 and the positive outcome marked by the implementation of the contents of the joint statement that sanctioned its work.

Akhannouch also reiterated the desire to raise bilateral cooperation and expand it to new dimensions, noting that this session is placed under the theme: "a privileged partnership, resolutely oriented towards the future", and this is in line with the willingness of both parties to devote a transparent and permanent dialogue, based on trust and mutual respect in the treatment of issues of common interest.

The frank and continuous consultations on various bilateral, regional and international issues, carried out on the instructions of HM King Mohammed VI, have allowed to bring together points of view on issues of common interest, he said, welcoming, in this regard, the position of Spain on the first national cause, which supports the autonomy plan in the Moroccan Sahara, presented by the Kingdom in 2007 and considers it to be the most serious, realistic and credible basis for the settlement of this phony conflict.

He also welcomed the economic forum held on the sidelines of this high-level meeting, which is an opportunity to consolidate bilateral cooperation relations and expand them to new areas, with high partnership potential and priority for both countries, such as renewable energy, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

Bilateral relations are undergoing a qualitative evolution that calls for the involvement of economic operators in this dynamic, in order to conclude strong and tangible partnerships, beyond trade to engage in joint projects with strategic scope, taking advantage of the new investment charter in Morocco, whose provisions offer many opportunities to both sides in various fields and to promising markets, especially in Africa," said Akhannouch.

He also noted that this session is of great importance, as it comes in a particular context, marked by the fallout of the global health crisis and the war in Ukraine that has impacted various countries, as well as the direct effects of these two crises on the standard of living of citizens and the increase in inflation levels, which places the world in front of new and unexpected challenges.

It also draws its importance from the density that has marked the relations between our two countries, especially after HM King Mohammed VI's call, in the Sovereign's speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People on August 20, 2020, to "inaugurate a new and unprecedented stage in the relations between the two countries, based on trust, transparency, mutual respect and respect for commitments.

The 12th HLM also comes in a context of profound regional and international changes, with in mind the security challenges that are now imposed on the countries of the region, he said, calling for the intensification of efforts to address the dangers that threaten the security of the region, related to illegal immigration, trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, terrorism, separatist groups and armed factions, and this on the basis of a comprehensive approach combining the security and social dimensions.

It is also to face the challenges facing the world, against a background of profound changes that challenge the ability of States to adapt permanently to these changes, through renewed approaches, able to promote bilateral action and harmonize its pace with these changes in a way that meets the vision of both countries on their regional and international environment.

Akhannouch also recalled that through the evolution of bilateral relations at all levels, Spain has become the first economic and trade partner of Morocco, noting that the two countries have been able to establish a rich and diverse legal framework accompanying the evolution achieved in many areas.

He noted that in a complex international context, which knows the exacerbation of tensions due to various international crises and their impact on production chains and food security due to energy instability, Morocco and Spain have been able to intensify their cooperation in these two areas, through model projects.

These projects concern the energy field, through the strengthening of the electrical interconnection and the implementation of the Maghreb gas pipeline in the opposite direction, from Spain to Morocco, as well as the adoption of new energy sources such as green hydrogen, based on a strategic vision that establishes the concept of sustainable development as a solution for the future able to preserve the balance between the environmental, economic and social dimensions, he explained.

It is certain that the geographical proximity of the two countries has favored a considerable presence of Spanish companies in Morocco and the presence of a large Moroccan community in Spain and Spanish resident in Morocco, stressed the head of government, adding that an exceptional dynamic has resulted from this deal, which highlights that economic relations between the two kingdoms exceed the framework of the conjunctural for the structural dimension.

It also opens the prospects of projects that are levers for building the future, including the project of fixed link between the two countries, which is likely to operate a real revolution at several levels, he said, maintaining that this session is a particularly important time to review and assess the balance of bilateral cooperation in the political, security, economic, cultural and social.

It also provides an opportunity to anchor the new vision of partnership between the two countries for the coming years, through the milestones of the roadmap adopted by the two governments and in implementation of its provisions.

The common will and the sincere desire that animate both countries, will undoubtedly win the bet, to meet the challenges and achieve the goals set, including the promotion of bilateral relations to raise them to the level of the aspirations of the two Sovereigns and the agreements between the two governments, he concluded.

MAP:  02 February 2023