ISSN 2330-717X

Morocco-France : Towards A More Diverse And Dynamic Relationship – OpEd

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Moroccan Press Agency MAP reported that King Mohammed VI held, on Saturday at the Marshane Palace in Tangiers, official talks with president of the French Republic, HE François Hollande who is on a working and friendship visit to Morocco.

The meeting touched on the will and renewed ambition by the two parties to reinforce the exceptional partnership between Morocco and France. It was also an occasion to laud the solid historical basis of the Moroccan-French partnership and reiterate the pioneer vocation of this partnership at the Euro-Mediterranean and Euro-African level.

It also concerned bilateral large-scale projects as the High Speed Rail, industrial partnerships in the car industry as well as in the fields of renewable energy, youth and training.

The fight against terrorism and radicalism, a pivotal dimension of this partnership, was given concrete substance through the signature of a bilateral agreement on the training of French imams (religious leaders) in Morocco, thus reinforcing the relevance of the Moroccan model in managing the religious field.

Concerning climate change, the two sides, which will assume the presidency of the two upcoming COP21 and COP22, reiterated their resolve to join hands so that the international community could find adequate answers to this universal issue.

The summit meeting between HM the King and the French head of state was also an occasion to continue the strategic dialogue on regional and international issues of shared interest and bolster the status of Morocco as a key regional actor and a credible partner in all matters involving the Arab-Mediterranean area and Africa.

The need for the international community to support the Skhirat process, to reach a rapid solution by the Libyan protagonists on the basis of the encouraging achievements made in the inter-Libyan dialogue, is a common concern for both countries.

Challenges linked to the migration phenomenon between Africa and Europe, and the exemplary Moroccan model regarding this matter require that the management of migratory flows should be inclusive, multidimensional and taking account of the development dimension in Africa.

The current visit by Hollande is an occasion for the two leaders to discuss the crises rocking the Middle East and the Sahel-Saharan Africa.

The meeting was an opportunity to hail Morocco’s positive contribution, under the leadership of HM the King, to promote peace and security in this geopolitical area.

In fact, Morocco enjoys an international outlook, and “advanced status’ in the European Union’s European Neighborhood policy. Following the ‘Arab Spring’ – the popular uprisings of 2011 – there has been a true willingness for reform, to open up the market and attract inbound investment. Moroccan political and business leaders are aligned in their ambitions to be a financial hub for north and west Africa.

The African economy is gearing up a notch, and now as the continent has to work together to make the most of it, Morocco is positioning itself as a motor of African integration.

For France a truly sustainable and forward-looking policy toward Africa should refocus attention on Africa’s opportunity as an economic powerhouse of the future, a strategy that combines both domestic self-interest and an opportunity to help Africa move forward. It would be wise to formulate a comprehensive economic policy, not just with interagency coordination, but also in full partnership. For this, Morocco could be a reliable and strategic partner.

Morocco and because of geographical proximity and historical ties, Morocco will naturally look north to the European Union for trade and investment. Cultural differences are smaller and a strong euro against the dollar makes the EU market more profitable for Morocco.

Morocco has emerged as an economic power in the African continent thanks to a strong economic policy initiated under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI since his accession to the throne. France, should therefore reinforce its partnership with Morocco in different fields, so that the two nations could reap major benefits. .

Any observer of this long-standing relationship between Morocco and France will reaffirm its depth and magnitude. This week end high-level meeting between His Majesty and François Hollande will offer an opportunity for both countries to discuss the evolution and future of this essential relationship from different perspectives.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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