Wed 23-05-2018 01:19 AM
ABU DHABI, 22nd May, 2018 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has reaffirmed the UAE full solidarity and support for Morocco in confronting all threats to its security, safety and stability.
H.H. Abdullah made the remarks today while chairing the fifth session of the joint UAE - Morocco Committee in the presence of Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita.
"The meeting convenes at a time the region is witnessing challenges, an unprecedented state of instability and spiralling violence across several Arab countries on the back of the growing danger of fanatic groups," said Sheikh Abdullah.
"We are reaffirming our consistent support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara, and we back all measures were taken by Morocco to address any threats to its territorial integrity," Sheikh Abdullah said in his inaugural word of the committee proceedings.
"We condemn all foreign interferences in the internal affairs of Arab countries, primarily Iran’s meddling into the region, and reiterate UAE's support for all measures taken by Morocco in this concern over the past period," he added.
The distinguished relations between the two countries are currently at their best, added Sheikh Abdullah, noting that the non-oil trade exchange increased from $464 million in 2013 to $524 million in 2017, with the 2016-2017 annual trade growth rate standing at 9 percent, threefold of its equivalent over the past five years."
"We are proud of the agreement signed by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) last year to supply sulphur to phosphate producer OCP Morocco," said H.H. Sheikh Abdullah, considering the deal as a model to be emulated for constructive strategic partnerships.
"A number of leading UAE companies have exhibited readiness to invest in Morocco in areas of aircraft manufacturing and we believe there is a genuine opportunity to utilise Morocco's geographical proximity to European and the US markets," he added, urging Moroccan companies to look for investment opportunities in the UAE and benefit from the country's prestigious position as a leading logistics hub in Western Asia.
"People-to-people bonds between the two nations are not less distinguished," he said, citing the growing tourist arrivals from Morocco in the UAE and the significant role played by both countries' air carriers in this regard.
Sheikh Abdullah called for intensifying cultural and educational cooperation between the two countries and thanked the joint committee members for the agreements and MoUs signed by the two sides today, which he said are likely to further advance cooperation across multiple domains.
For his part, Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, expressed his happiness with the committee convening during "Year of Zayed", noting that the Moroccan people will remain indebted to the significant role played by the UAE founding father along with late King Hassan II of Morocco in establishing robust relations that fructified into the blossoming cooperation the two nations are witnessing now.
"The approach adopted by the two late leaders has been closely followed up and invigorated by His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, and his brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces," said Boreita.
He noted that the two countries will continue political coordination on all regional and international issues of common concern, commending the UAE's supportive stance of Morocco's sovereignty and defence of its territorial integrity.
Later, the two sides signed a cultural cooperation MoU and another memo between the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology and the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment, and the Digital Economy of Morocco. Other memos were also signed in areas of land and maritime transport, logistics and mutual recognition of minimum standards of competence required for seagoing personnel as per the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. The two countries also signed an executive programme for a media cooperation agreement for 2018-2019.