Bilateral Cooperation, Topical International Issues Reviewed at Moroccan-Russian Summit Talks

smPresident Vladimir Putin and King Mohammed VI, who is on an official visit to Russia, held Tuesday in Moscow, talks that centered on pressing issues of bilateral relations, but also on topical international and regional issues, with focus on the latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

During the talks, described as “friendly and candid” the two leaders discussed prospects for the promotion of bilateral economic and trade relations and the strengthening of Moroccan-Russian strategic partnership.

In the course of the visit, Morocco and Russia adopted a Statement on the Extended Strategic Partnership between the two countries, wherein both countries confirmed their commitment to intensify their bilateral relations, in particular through the implementation of joint projects in the sectors of energy, tourism, technology, agriculture, fisheries and transport infrastructure.

Rabat and Moscow also agreed to encourage their trade in order to achieve balance and increase the volume of mutual investments and commit to take concrete steps to expand cooperation in the field of agriculture and sea fisheries.

“Special attention will be paid to the promotion of exports of Moroccan fruit and vegetables to Russia and Russian grain exports to Morocco,” said the statement, noting that customs procedures will be simplified through the establishment of “a green corridor.”

By turning to the Russian giant, Morocco, whose economy remains among the most open in Africa, confirms its choice to diversify its economic and trade partnerships, traditionally linked to the European Union.

In the Statement on the Extended Strategic Partnership, the two countries also stressed the need to upgrade international cooperation to combat terrorism and violent extremism under all their forms.

Regarding the situation in Syria, the two countries expressed their commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country and called for a political and diplomatic settlement to the crisis, urging for a resumption, without delay, of the inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue.

They likewise voiced support to the inter-Libyan dialogue and pointed out that only a political solution and the formation of the legitimate government structures can lead to national reconciliation and end the internal armed conflict and the danger of terrorism in this country.

In this regard, Russia says it highly appreciates Morocco’s efforts to promote inter-Libyan accord on the basis of the Skhirat agreements.

Prior to the King’s visit, analysts had predicted that the Libyan issue will be discussed by the Moroccan Sovereign and the Russian President because Morocco is invested in Libya’s future and is a credible broker of international assistance for its rehabilitation. Besides, Morocco, a staunch ally of the United States and other Western States, can help mend the rift that has prevented Russia from playing a positive role in the civil-war torn country after Moscow vehemently opposed the Western military campaign that deposed Qaddafi.

The Royal visit to Moscow highlighted by the signing of several intergovernmental agreements.

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