Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has pleaded for a courageous and responsible dialogue between Africa and Europe and for the establishment of a new bi-continental pact between the two sides so that they rise, together, to the challenges thrown at them.
In a message to the 5th European Union-African Union summit held in Abidjan November 29-30, King Mohammed VI pointed out that the EU and the AU are two essential and inevitable regional groupings, and that Partnership between Africa and Europe is as relevant as ever.
“It is essential that the courageous, responsible dialogue between former colonizer nations and former colonized countries remain frank and direct. Today, fresh impetus needs to be injected into it,” the monarch argued, adding that the EU and the AU are equally concerned by opportunities and responsibilities as they are by the challenges they face.
For the Moroccan King, “Solidarity between Europe and Africa is neither a hollow concept nor some sort of association based on one-way philanthropy; it is built on shared responsibility and mutual dependence. It follows that the logic of a vertical aid pattern can today give way to a genuine horizontal partnership”.
To materialize this genuine horizontal partnership, the Monarch argued that “there should be a shift in the EU-Africa Partnership towards a new bi-continental Pact. Both Africa and Europe must rise, together, to inevitable challenges through shared competitiveness, co-localization of productive businesses, regulated human mobility and fruitful cultural exchanges”.
In his message, the King of Morocco who has made of Africa’s development a top priority in his foreign policy, urged Europeans to reconsider the harsh conditions they impose on African countries to get loans. “The conditionality of the debt must be reconsidered”, he said, pointing out that “Western countries expect some African countries – which gained independence less than half a century ago – to perform in politics and the economy as optimally as they themselves do, and they therefore impose impossible conditions on them”.
“This aberration is all the more inexplicable as these European countries sometimes face significant financial and political difficulties themselves,” he said.
In his message to the AU-EU summit, King Mohammed VI dealt at length with the immigration issue and the atrocious practices migrants are subjected to in an utter denial of hu-manity, in reference to the gross violations of migrants’ hu-man rights in Libya, including the slave trading of the mi-grants as reported by CNN this month.
“Libya, a new crossing point between Africa and Europe, has become the corridor of all evils, epitomizing all types of misfortunes. We are deeply shocked by the atrocious practices reported by the media and currently plaguing migrants in our region. This is an utter denial of humanity”.
The Monarch insisted that European policy should change and that a new vision is needed.
“We ought to turn immigration into a subject of peaceful debate and constructive exchange,” the King said, underlining that it is the time for action and for finding effective solutions to this issue.