Africa

Foreign Minister: ‘ECOWAS Recognizes King Mohammed VI’s Involvement in Region’

By Chaimaa Zahaar and Chaymaa Benallouch

Rabat - Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, has said that the initial approval expressed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for Morocco’s request to join this regional bloc, constitutes a “recognition of the personal involvement” of King Mohammed VI and Morocco’s “long-term investment’’ in this region.

“This is a very important decision,” he told the press after concluding the 51st Ordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State and Government (ECOWAS), which culminated in the announcement of the bloc’s agreement in principle of the kingdom's accession to the organization.

By taking this step, “the member states of the ECOWAS sent three important messages, namely the initial approval of Morocco’s accession to this organization, the recognition of the strong multidimensional relation that the Kingdom brings together in ECOWAS countries, and inviting his Majesty, King Mohammed VI, to participate in the forthcoming summit of this organization,” said Bourita.

Morocco’s chief diplomat went on to say that the initial approval marked what he called the completion of “the political phase” of the process to secure the Kingdom’s membership in the organization.

The next phase will be a “legal” one, Bourita explained, stating that the ECOWAS commission will examine the legal measures that should be adapted to make Morocco’s accession effective. Meanwhile, Morocco will have legal work to do to adapt its texts to the organization’s founding principles.

The technical phase will focus on negotiations regarding cooperation in various sectors that would be beneficial to ECOWAS.

As Bourita mentioned, the King has made more than 25 visits to ECOWAS countries since 2001, during which time more than 600 agreements have been signed.

The minister also pointed to the fact that Morocco is the first investor in this region, which receives two thirds of the Kingdom's foreign investments.

ECOWAS’s positive reception to Morocco’s membership application “reinforces this investment and these relations between Morocco and the countries of the ECOWAS Group and opens a new horizon for cooperation between the two sides,” said the minister.

Bourita concluded that "After the return of Morocco to the African Union last January, the decision taken today by the Heads of State and Government ECOWAS, supports the African policy of Morocco and the King, and the priority it attaches to Africa, which is at the heart of the Kingdom's foreign policy.”

Comments

Editorial

Opinions

  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado
    20

    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
    20

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
    20

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

  • 20

    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat
    20

    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar
    20

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.
    20

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe
    20

    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring
    20

    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri
    20

    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...