Morocco, Portugal Set to Build Multidimensional and Diversified Strategic Partnership

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita, and his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva
Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita, and his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva expressed, Wednesday in Rabat, the willingness of the two countries to develop their relations into a multidimensional and diversified strategic partnership.

"Our economic relations have witnessed, over the past years, a good development. Morocco is Portugal's second trading partner in Africa and the first partner in the Maghreb region," Bourita pointed out at a joint press briefing following their talks.

He stressed, in this regard, the kingdom's readiness to consolidate this positive dynamic through the setting up of bilateral economic mechanisms in addition to meetings and working visits with a view to further strengthening bilateral trade. Bourita also welcomed the support provided by Portugal to Morocco within the European Union (EU), its constructive position on the Moroccan Sahara issue and its multilateral engagement in international bodies on conflicts in Africa.

For his part, Silva said Morocco is a strategic partner, underlining the willingness of his country to further deepening relations between Morocco and the EU. The Portuguese top diplomat also expressed his country's willingness to develop bilateral energy partnerships with Morocco, recalling the launch of studies of a project which aims to link the two countries through an electric interconnection, which "will open up new opportunities for the trading of energy assets between Portugal and Morocco which have very ambitious objectives in terms of renewable energies".

Commenting the political partnership, Silva underscored the "top priority" given by his country to African issues, welcoming, in this regard, the Moroccan autonomy initiative. The autonomy plan is a "very serious and credible" initiative for the settlement of the Sahara issue, he pointed out.

"The Portuguese position on this regional dispute is well-known. We hope that the process conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and in accordance with the recommendations and resolutions of the Security Council will take place with the prospect of obtaining concrete results," he said. At the security level, the Portuguese minister commended the important role played by Morocco in preserving stability in the Mediterranean, the Maghreb and Africa, regions, noting that these regions present "strategic and geopolitical" challenges for both Portugal and the European Union.

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