MFA Nasser Bourita receives the Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and UN at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, received, on May 09, 2023, the Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, on the occasion of the 4th session of the Morocco-UK Strategic Dialogue.

In a press conference following this meeting, Mr. Nasser Bourita stressed that Morocco welcomes the positive position of the United Kingdom on the Moroccan Sahara issue.

"We welcome the positive position of the United Kingdom on the Moroccan Sahara and its constructive role in the UN Security Council, as a member of the group of friends of the Secretary-General on the Moroccan Sahara and a permanent member of the Council, which follows with interest the security and stability in North Africa," said Mr. Bourita during a press briefing, at the end of the 4th session of the Moroccan-UK Strategic Dialogue, which he chaired, alongside the Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United Nations of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.

During this session of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries, it was agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two kingdoms in international forums, concerning regional and international issues, said the Moroccan minister.

"We will work as partners to strengthen security and development in Africa, as well as to promote peace and coexistence in the Middle East," he said, adding that the two countries will also promote their interests and values in multilateral forums, both in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, as part of an advanced coordination between the two countries.

The Strategic Dialogue mechanism reflects the will to create a strategic partnership and provides a space to take stock of opportunities, projects and initiatives that can strengthen the will of both countries to boost this strong strategic partnership, he continued.

He stressed that HM King Mohammed VI always ensures an advanced coordination with the United Kingdom and the strengthening of the relationship between the two countries in all areas, expressing the hope that this 4th session of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries shows all stakeholders the willingness of both governments to develop their relationship, so that they can invest more in strengthening it.

This session of the strategic dialogue comes in a very positive framework of relations between the two countries, said Mr. Bourita, recalling that diplomatic relations between the two countries date back several centuries.

On High Royal Instructions, Morocco has worked to develop its relations, strong and strategic with the United Kingdom, he added, noting that this partnership is reflected through the exchange of high-level visits, coordination on several issues and ongoing dialogue on regional and international issues.

At the economic level, the United Kingdom is a strategic partner of Morocco, he said, noting that trade between the two countries have tripled in the last three years.\

The participation of the United Kingdom as guest of honor at the 15th edition of the International Exhibition of Agriculture in Morocco (SIAM) last week is "further evidence of the new dynamic" that drives its relations, said Mr. Bourita, adding that there is a strong desire to develop economic and trade relations and develop British investment in Morocco.

The United Kingdom is accompanying to this effect British investors in key sectors, such as the green economy and renewable energy, he explained.

In addition, since the signing of the cooperation agreement in the field of education in 2018, seven British schools have been established in Morocco and others are expected to follow, the minister added, noting that this indicates the willingness of Moroccans to benefit from the British experience in the field.

On the tourism front, there are now 52 weekly air links between Morocco and the UK, he said, adding that the goal is to reach one million British tourists to visit Morocco each year.

Security and military cooperation is not left behind, as well as parliamentary relations that are continually developing, with visits of parliamentary delegations, especially in the southern provinces of the Kingdom, said Mr. Bourita.

He concluded that the instructions of HM the King to make the United Kingdom a strategic partner of Morocco are now visible on the ground, stressing that the 4th session of the Strategic Dialogue testifies to the importance of achievements, although both countries aspire to achieve more in all areas.

For his part, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon welcomed the strong and fruitful relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom which date back more than eight centuries and will continue to grow stronger.

"I am delighted with the relations, partnership and strong friendship that exist between our two nations, (...) and I am pleased to note the strong interest and alignment between Morocco and the United Kingdom," said Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.

"The partnership between the two Kingdoms dates back more than eight centuries and will continue to grow stronger," the British minister said, noting that the relationship between the two Kingdoms extends to a number of key areas such as education, trade and climate change. The shared goal and ambition is to build a safer and more secure planet in terms of the environment and conflict resolution, he added.

This collaboration, he added, also covers defense and security issues, transnational crime and the fight against terrorism, stressing "the close link between our respective defense and security teams" which are an essential basis of bilateral relations.

Referring to the fundamental pillar of education, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon noted the common goal of equipping "our next generation, our young people, with the skills and knowledge they need for the future" including "technology".

In this context, he highlighted the opening in April in Casablanca of the first British university campus of Coventry University.

Recalling the annual bilateral trade now approaching 3 billion pounds sterling, the British minister expressed the desire to develop it further.

"It is great to see so many British choose Morocco and strengthen trade in multiple sectors, which confirms and consolidates our economic relations that create jobs for both countries," he said.

He also said he discussed with Mr. Bourita regional issues, including illegal immigration, as well as continuing efforts to promote peace and stability, emphasizing the international perspectives of cooperation, such as climate action, clean energy and green growth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon also welcomed the choice of the United Kingdom as guest of honor of the 15th edition of the International Agricultural Exhibition in Morocco (SIAM).


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