The Kingdom of Morocco received the agreement in principle to obtain the status of Sectoral Dialogue Partner from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at the 56th meeting of foreign ministers of member countries held on July 11 and 12, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Kingdom, the first African country to benefit from this status, aims through this partnership to raise its cooperation with ASEAN to a higher level, thus contributing to regional peace, stability, security, development and prosperity in both regions, stresses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Resident Abroad, in a press release. This status also reflects the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, to diversify the Kingdom’s partnerships, particularly on the Asian continent, says the ministry. The sectoral dialogue partnership defines the foundations and prospects for multi-faceted cooperation between ASEAN and Morocco in sectors identified by both parties. To this end, in February 2018, Morocco had proposed a cooperation action plan, targeting areas of cooperation of common interest likely to contribute to ASEAN’s vision for 2025, the press release states, noting that this action plan was updated, in February 2023, taking into account developments since then, notably the repercussions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Partnership represents an opportunity for substantial cooperation based on a win-win approach that lies at the heart of the South-South cooperation policy advocated by Morocco, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him. Similarly, the same source continued, Morocco expressed its willingness to share its experience and expertise with ASEAN member countries in areas where the Kingdom’s reputation is known and recognized internationally, such as agriculture, food security, fisheries, marine pollution control, trade, investment promotion, tourism and education. Morocco joined the ASEAN Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (TAC) in September 2016. Since then, the Kingdom has strengthened its presence in other regional organizations in Southeast Asia, notably those linked institutionally or geographically to ASEAN. In 2017 and 2022, Rabat signed two MoUs with the Mekong River Commission (MRC), comprising Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Created in 1967, ASEAN comprises 10 countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. As a grouping, it is the 3rd largest economic power in Asia. Six other countries enjoy “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” status with ASEAN: Switzerland, Norway, Türkiye, Pakistan, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, concludes the press release.
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