FM Sees in 3rd AASP Ministerial Meeting Further Step in Building Area of Stability, Development, Dialogue

The 3rd ministerial meeting of the Atlantic African States Process (AASP) is a further step in the construction of an area of stability, development and dialogue, said Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, in Rabat on Wednesday. This meeting takes place in application of the High Guidelines and vision of HM King Mohammed VI regarding the structuring of the South Atlantic, said Bourita during a press conference held at the end of the meeting. Morocco’s top diplomat further noted that this meeting is a new milestone in the construction of the Atlantic-African space as an area of stability, development and dialogue. In the same context, he recalled the two previous meetings, which were devoted to raising awareness of the priorities, opportunities and challenges, as well as the creation of this process’ structures. According to him, it was time to move on, within the framework of this 3rd meeting, to the definition of concrete initiatives in terms of the organization of ports and the fight against pollution, the blue economy and clean tourism. In this context, Bourita reported that the meeting had reached an agreement on the Action Programme and the “Rabat Declaration”, which emphasizes a number of points, including the fact that the implementation of this initiative is not a matter for diplomats, but requires the mobilization of the sectors and actors concerned, as well as associations, businessmen and other stakeholders, in each country. “The sectors in each country must be aware that the Atlantic is an area full of opportunities and faces challenges that must be addressed,” the Minister continued, noting that Morocco has proposed the holding of sectoral meetings to put the objectives of this program into practice. Emphasizing the importance of the Atlantic African countries preparing to interact with the initiatives of other actors in the Atlantic space, Bourita noted that the importance of the Rabat process lies in the fact that the Atlantic countries “must speak with one voice and have their own references, action programs and priorities.” “Morocco has, ever since this initiative was launched, emphasized the importance of preparing and unifying views before entering into discussions with Latin America, North America and Atlantic Europe on how to structure action in the southern rim of the Atlantic, which is a strategic priority,” he said. The Minister also stressed the importance of this region, which offers a number of development opportunities in the fields of tourism, ports and urban planning, and which includes major countries on the African continent such as Morocco, Angola, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria, assuring that the aim of this process is to enable these African countries to benefit from the opportunities and face the challenges of the region.