Morocco-Spain. 12th High-Level Meeting Reinforces Commitment of the Two Kingdoms to a Renewed Path of Bilateral Cooperation (Aziz Akhannouch)


Rabat - The 12th Moroccan-Spanish high-level meeting reinforces the commitment of the two kingdoms to a new path of bilateral cooperation, The Head of Government, Mr. Aziz  Akhannouch said Thursday in Rabat.

   In an opening speech on the occasion of the launch of this high-level meeting, which he co-chairs with his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, Akhannouch stressed that this meeting responds to the strong will of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Majesty King Felipe VI to consolidate the bilateral strategic partnership and translate its main orientations into a clear roadmap serving the interests of the two friendly peoples.

   He added that this meeting is also an opportunity to celebrate the historical relations and ties of friendship between Moroccan-Spanish countries, considering in this context the visit of the Spanish Head of Government to the Kingdom at the invitation of His Majesty the King as a pivotal step in the implementation of the new vision of relations between the two countries.

   He added that this session is of great importance, as it comes in a unique context, marked by the effects of the global health crisis, as well as the Ukrainian war with all its consequences and impact on various countries, and their direct impact on the living conditions of citizens and high levels of inflation,  that have mortgaged the capacity and resilience of societies and put the world in the face of unprecedented and unexpected challenges .

   This session also draws its importance from the momentum achieved in relations between the two countries, particularly following the call of His Majesty the King, in his speech on the occasion of the revolution of the King and the people of August 20, 2020, to "inaugurate a new unprecedented phase in relations between the two countries,  based on trust, transparency, mutual respect and respect for commitments".

   He stressed that the current session of the high-level meeting will see the signing of a new generation of agreements and memorandums of understanding aimed at meeting the aspirations of the two kingdoms and aimed at creating a model of cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean, in its Euro-Mediterranean and Euro-African dimensions.

  Mr. Akhannouch said the meeting "is a very important station to review and assess the results of our cooperation in various political, security, economic, cultural and social fields, and an opportunity to establish the new vision of the partnership between the two countries in the coming years, through the parameters of the roadmap adopted by the two governments and the implementation of its content."

   He noted that today's meeting comes in the light of many regional changes and profound international transformations, foremost among which are the security challenges facing the countries of the region, "which requires, more than ever, to intensify efforts to address the threats to the security of the region associated with illegal immigration,  human and drug trafficking, terrorism, separatist groups and armed militias, based on a holistic approach that combines security and social dimensions."

   According to the Head of Government, this session also aims to address the challenges the world is facing as a result of profound transformations, which test countries' ability to continuously adapt to these changes by establishing renewed approaches capable of advancing bilateral action and controlling its pace with these developments in a way that meets the two countries' visions vis-à-vis their regional and international environment.

   After praising the tireless work accomplished since the last session held in Madrid in 2015, and the positive outcome of the implementation of the content of the joint declaration at the time, the head of government appreciated the progress made and reiterated Morocco's willingness to strengthen cooperation with Spain to include new dimensions.
In this regard, Mr. Akhannouch stressed that the theme of this session is "A distinguished partnership, resolutely turned towards the future", based on the desire of both sides to establish a transparent and lasting dialogue based on trust and mutual respect in dealing with all issues of common interest. He stressed that the "frank and continuous" consultations on various bilateral, regional, and international issues, on the instructions of His Majesty the King, have led to a convergence of views on a series of issues of common interest. In this context, the Head of Government expressed Morocco's satisfaction with the position of the Kingdom of Spain on the first national issue, in support of the Moroccan autonomy initiative in the Moroccan Sahara, presented by Morocco in 2007, and considering it the most serious, realistic, and credible basis for resolving this artificial conflict. On the other hand, Akhannouch welcomed the Economic Forum, which was held in its new session on the sidelines of this meeting, noting that it is an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation relations and expand them to other areas, which offer important partnership opportunities in priority sectors for the two countries such as renewable energy,  agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and other sectors. He stressed that economic relations between the two countries are experiencing a qualitative development, which requires the involvement of economic actors in the dynamism of bilateral relations, in order to conclude strong and tangible partnerships, which go beyond trade, to include joint projects with a strategic dimension, taking advantage of the new investment charter in Morocco,  whose requirements offer many opportunities to both parties in various fields, and in the direction of promising markets, especially on the African continent. In line with the progress of bilateral relations at all levels, Mr. Akhannouch stressed that Spain has assumed the position of Morocco's leading economic and trade partner, noting that the two countries have been able to establish a rich and diversified legal framework that keeps pace with ongoing development in many areas. The head of government stressed that the course of bilateral relations between Morocco and Spain coincides with the qualitative development that the Kingdom of Morocco has experienced at all levels, thanks to the reforms and major projects launched by His Majesty the King, aimed at consolidating the rule of law, rights and freedoms,  and to implement political, economic and social reforms, in order to achieve comprehensive and balanced development through a new model in which the Kingdom has placed the human element at the center of its concerns. In a complex international context, which is experiencing the escalation of tensions due to various international crises and their repercussions on production chains and therefore on food security, due to energy instability, Mr. Akhannouch stressed that Morocco and Spain have been able to strengthen cooperation in these two areas by establishing pilot projects in the field of energy,  by strengthening the electricity interconnection, investing the Maghreb gas pipeline in the opposite direction from Spain to Morocco, as well as adopting alternative energies such as green hydrogen, based on a strategic vision that adopts the concept of Sustainable development as a solution for the future to maintain a balance between the environmental, economic and social dimensions of citizens. He also stressed that the geographical proximity between the two countries contributes to the significant presence of Spanish companies in the Kingdom, and the presence of a large Moroccan community residing in Spain and a Spanish community residing in Morocco, which has created an exceptional dynamic, which has highlighted that economic relations between the two kingdoms go beyond what is circumstantial to what is structural,  thus opening up prospects for projects considered a key lever to build the future, including the continental link project between the two countries, which would lead to a real revolution on several levels. The Head of Government concluded by saying that "the collective will of our two countries and their sincere desire will inevitably allow us to win the bet, meet the challenges and achieve the objectives set, including improving the levels of our relations to meet the aspirations of the monarchs of the two countries, and what has been agreed between the governments of the two countries."