HM the King Laid the Foundations for Efficient Cooperation between Africa and Latin America – Upper House Speaker

HM King Mohammed VI has laid the foundations for efficient cooperation between Africa and Latin America, thanks to the royal tour in this region in 2004, said the Speaker of the House of Advisors (Upper House) Naama Mayara. Morocco is now the powerhouse of cooperation between Latin America, Africa and the Arab world, he said in an interview with Moroccan news channel M24 at the end of his visit to Chile and Uruguay (June 20-29). This bridge-building role played by Morocco is due to the great trust enjoyed by HM the King in these countries, which is reflected in fruitful cooperation between the countries of the South, Mayara added. The policy followed by Morocco is based on transparency, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and respect for their sovereignty, he noted. According to Mayara, the royal vision gave a strong impetus to the Moroccan foreign policy and the actions undertaken by the legislative institution within the framework of parliamentary diplomacy. The Speaker of the Upper House said his stay in Chile, at the head of a parliamentary delegation, was part of the dynamics established by Morocco, under the leadership of HM the King, to strengthen South-South cooperation. In Chile, fruitful meetings took place with the speakers of both chambers of the Chilean and government officials. They focused on the promotion of bilateral relations, he said. Mayara added that his visit to this “friendly country” was a success given the quality of exchanges with government officials, parliamentarians and civil society figures, who have all reiterated the commitment to continue joint action at all levels and to strengthen the exceptional ties between Rabat and Santiago. During this visit, the Speaker of the House of Advisors proposed the establishment of a parliamentary economic forum between the two countries. Chile is an ally of Morocco in the Latin American region that enjoys special attention from the Kingdom, not only at the political level but also at the economical level, he said. Mayara explained that this Forum would be the ideal framework to explore investment opportunities of both countries in many areas, including agriculture, water management, renewable energy, industry, tourism and technology. Speaking of his visit to Uruguay, the Moroccan MP noted that he was received by President Luis Lacalle Pou, who expressed his high regard for Morocco and his firm commitment to overcome all obstacles that hamper the development of historical relations between the two countries. The remarks made by President Lacalle Pou during this meeting outline a promising framework for relations between the two countries which are bound to build close economic ties making Morocco Uruguay’s gateway to Africa and the Arab world. In Montevideo, Mayara and the delegation accompanying him held meetings with government officials, parliamentarians of different political stripes and businessmen, which focused on strengthening cooperation in economy and trade. The Upper House speaker stressed that the Uruguayan side is aware of the importance of advancing relations with the Kingdom and correcting the errors that have hindered, in the past, the development of fruitful relations between the two countries. On the sidelines of a symposium on climate change and the role of parliaments in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized in Montevideo by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliament of Uruguay, Mayara met with the speaker of the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur), Tomas Bittar. On this occasion, the Moroccan MP expressed his wish that the Chamber of Advisors become an observer member of Parlasur. The request of the House of Advisors was very well received by the Parlasur, which is now the second largest bloc in the world, he noted. An agreement on this matter should be announced as soon as possible before implementing a roadmap on bilateral cooperation in many areas of common interest, he observed, quoting Mr. Bittar. Parliamentary cooperation is an indispensable gift for strengthening South-South cooperation, Mayara concluded.