Morocco, UK Reaffirm Common Will to Strengthen Strategic Partnership

The Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their common will to further strengthen their strategic partnership.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the 4th session of the Morocco-UK Strategic Dialogue, held Tuesday in Rabat, under the co-chairmanship of Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, and Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United Nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the two parties welcomed the excellent relationship between Morocco and the United Kingdom, and reaffirmed their common will to further strengthen their Strategic Partnership.

The Strategic Dialogue between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom is structured around four pillars: the political and diplomatic pillar, the economic pillar, the security pillar and the cultural and educational pillar.

This session allowed both countries to express their satisfaction with the progress made in the different pillars of the Strategic Dialogue and to agree on roadmaps for these pillars, read the joint statement.

At the political and diplomatic level, the two ministers had constructive and fruitful exchanges that reflect this new phase and prospects in relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom based on mutual respect and trust, it said.

They affirmed their willingness to deepen their dialogue and cooperation on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest and major strategic challenges.

The United Kingdom considers Morocco as a credible and listened to regional and international partner that plays an essential role and as a decisive factor for stability, peace and development in the Mediterranean, Sahel-Saharan and West African regions.

Regarding Libya, Morocco and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their willingness to work together for a sustainable and inclusive political solution, based on the 2015 Libyan political agreement in Skhirat, and under the auspices of the United Nations.

Both countries reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.

Concerning the Sahel region, Morocco and the United Kingdom expressed their concern about security threats in the region. They consider that the fight against violent extremism and radicalism in the Sahel requires, in addition to the security dimension, the reinforcement of tangible economic, human, cultural and institutional development actions.

At the economic level, the two ministers welcomed the ambitious joint trade and investment program agreed upon during the 2nd Morocco-UK Association Council, held in Rabat in February 2023, which builds on the post-Brexit Morocco-UK Association Agreement, signed in October 2019 and entered into force in January 2021, whose objective is to establish a Free Trade Area between the two countries.

Bourita and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon noted, in this sense, that trade has increased significantly and affirmed the success of the commercial partnership between the two countries.

They stressed, in this regard, the great potential to expand relations to other sectors, given the comparative advantages enjoyed by both countries.

In addition, the British government welcomed the economic and social reforms undertaken by Morocco in recent years, which have created a favorable environment for investment and enhanced economic growth.

The two sides agreed to work together to boost trade and investment between the two countries, as well as to strengthen their cooperation in the energy, infrastructure and technology sectors.

The United Kingdom welcomed the leadership of Morocco in renewable energy. To this end, the two countries encourage cooperation between the parties involved in this strategic sector.

In terms of security, the two ministers welcomed the shared will and commitment to deepen cooperation in the security field, in order to address global security threats, including the fight against terrorism, organized crime, aviation, maritime and border security and cyber security, as well as the return and rehabilitation of foreign terrorist fighters.

The United Kingdom commended the leadership and commitment of the Kingdom of Morocco to regional peace and security, particularly through its co-chairmanship of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), as well as the Africa Focus Group (AFFG) of the Global Coalition against Daesh.

The issue of “cyber security” has been added to the agenda of the Security Working Group, as a priority that reflects the excellence of technical cooperation.

At the cultural level, the two ministers confirmed their commitment to capitalize on the growing enthusiasm and interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation in education.

They welcomed the opening of four British schools recognized in Morocco under the British Schools Agreement, as well as the upcoming official opening of a campus in Casablanca hosting two faculties of business and engineering that will offer programs accredited by Coventry University.

Bourita and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon agreed to work together to strengthen their cultural, educational and scientific cooperation, including encouraging exchanges of students and researchers, supporting education and training programs, and promoting the language and culture of both countries.