The 13th Morocco-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission reflects the two countries’ common desire to revive this cooperation mechanism, said Thursday in Rabat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita. Speaking during the Joint Commission held in the presence of Saudi Foreign Minister, H.H. Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah Al-Saud, Bourita said that this session, which comes after a nine-year hiatus, reflects the two countries’ willingness to revive this cooperation mechanism and highlight relations’ strategic depth and effective solidarity. This event “reflects the two Kingdoms’ determination to strengthen their bilateral relations and raise them to the highest level, in implementation of the two leaders’ high Directives; HM King Mohammed VI, and His brother, Custodian of the Holy Places of Islam, King Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, with the full support of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Vice-President of the Council of Ministers,” said the Moroccan minister. He further noted that Morocco is fully convinced that two countries’ enormous potential can be optimally exploited at all levels, including economy, technology, humanity, culture and social skills,” adding that “the achieved performance is a source of satisfaction for us. […] [This] encourages us to achieve more comprehensive objectives and a long-term partnership.” In this context, he stressed the need to implement a real partnership to boost economic cooperation, trade and investment, which “remains below the expected level and does not meet the level of exemplary partnership and aspirations of leaders and peoples of both countries. After stressing the importance of the involvement of economic and commercial actors and the joint business council, Bourita called to seize “the various opportunities offered by the economies of both countries, thanks to the wise and far-sighted vision of the leaders of both countries.” These opportunities include “the new development model and the various sectoral strategies in Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and Vision 2030 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Minister also called on the competent authorities in Saudi Arabia to accompany Morocco’s major reforms and priority development projects, on the High Instructions of HM the King, in particular the post-COVID-19 economic take-off program and the examination of the possibility of contribution of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund to the capital of the sectoral and thematic funds to be created within the framework of the Mohammed VI Fund for Investment. Bourita welcomed the financial support provided by Saudi Arabia for development projects in Morocco, through loans from the Saudi Fund for Development or through grants, praising the pioneering role in investment of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Regarding the situation in the Arab world and developments in Arab issues, Bourita reiterated that “the constant, clear and unambiguous position of the Kingdom in favor of the Palestinian cause which remains at the top of the priorities of HM King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee. He also stressed the need to prevail the principles of dialogue and negotiation, as well as political solutions, in order to reach acceptable solutions for the issues of the region, adding that the Kingdom “insists on the need for the security of the Arab States of the Gulf, which constitutes a red line and a fundamental pillar of regional and international stability.” At the level of the African continent, the Minister added, the Kingdom advocates joint action to consolidate relations of cooperation and partnership with African countries in all areas, in favor of a comprehensive and sustainable development in Africa within the framework of South-South cooperation. For his part, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs praised the efforts of the members of the Joint Commission to strengthen joint cooperation in various fields and advance the “distinguished” relations between the two countries. H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud stressed that this meeting constitutes “a translation of the high guidelines of the leaders of the two sisterly countries and a consolidation of joint bilateral action in its various dimensions and meanings, especially in the fields of energy, digital economy, investment, industry and mineral wealth, as well as a reflection of the deep coordination between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Morocco.” He assured that Saudi Arabia highly appreciates the support of Morocco to its initiatives, including the candidacy of Riyadh to host Expo 2030, recalling that Morocco was one of the first countries to have announced its support to this candidacy. The minister also highlighted Morocco’s support for the Green Middle East initiative which, according to the minister, is part of efforts to preserve the environment and fight against climate change. On the other hand, the Saudi diplomat called for new approaches and political guidelines to overcome the “major challenges facing our region”, coordinating positions on many regional and international issues, “including the Palestinian question”, saying that the Joint Moroccan-Saudi Commission provides an opportunity to discuss solutions to these crises and contribute positively to the achievement of regional and international peace. He stressed the importance of ensuring the permanence of the Commission and guaranteeing the continuity of coordination between the two countries in various issues of common interest, and serve the interests of both countries, including promoting economic cooperation and investment and working to develop measurable objectives. The Director of the Orient, the Gulf, Arab and Islamic organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Fouad Akhrif, and the Director General of Arab and African Affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdelaziz Ben Abdellah Al Matar, reported on the meetings at the level of senior officials and experts held Wednesday in Rabat. After expressing satisfaction over the remarkable dynamics marking the bilateral relations during the recent period, which was reflected mainly in the exchange of visits of ministers and officials from different sectors, the two sides noted however that the economic, trade and investment aspects are not up to the opportunities offered by the two countries. They also stressed the importance of the role played by the private sector in bilateral economic cooperation, calling on the private sector of both countries to be more involved in the dynamics of relations. They also urged to continue to develop consular services related to the movement of citizens of both countries and their conditions of residence and to strengthen cooperation, especially in the areas of labor, social welfare and social security. The work of the meetings at the level of senior officials and experts were crowned by a consensus on several recommendations concerning cooperation in various sectors, and an agreement on a number of legal texts ready to be signed at the next meetings between the two countries, relating to the sectors of tourism, air transport, water and cooperation between employment institutions. The work of the 13th session of the meeting of the Moroccan-Saudi Joint Commission was sanctioned by the signing of the minutes of the meeting by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries.
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