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Morocco: Erdogan backs UN-hosted W. Sahara talks, says Turkey doesn’t recognize Polisario

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) with his Moroccan counterpart Abdelilah Benkirane.  Erdogan praised Moroccans for their transition to democracy, and called for more economic cooperation and balanced trade between the two countries.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) with his Moroccan counterpart Abdelilah Benkirane. Erdogan praised Moroccans for their transition to democracy, and called for more economic cooperation and balanced trade between the two countries. Arabs Today

 

ArabsToday, by Redouane Mabchour (Rabat, Morocco, June 5, 2013) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has voiced support for UN supervised talks to resolve the Western Sahara conflict, confirming that Turkey doesn’t recognise the Polisario Front movement.

Speaking during a joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart Abdelilah Benkirane in Rabat, Erdogan claimed that an improvement in Algerian-Moroccan relations would aid resolution of the Western Sahara conflict, hinting at his country’s plans to mediate peace talks between the two countries.

The Turkish prime minister praised the people of Morocco for their transition to democracy, terming recent elections as “Morocco’s Arab spring.”

He argued that Morocco’s democratic model could serve as a glowing example for emerging countries in the region.

Erdogan mentioned economic cooperation with Morocco several times throughout his speech, and called for “balanced” trade between the two countries. He also urged Benkirane’s government to simplify the methods of investment for Turkish entrepreneurs looking to invest in Morocco.

The senior Turkish politician disclosed that his 300-member delegation includes 115 businesspeople, adding that they are from 85 different Turkish companies generating between $45 billion a year.

Erdogan confirmed that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI will visit Turkey by the end of 2013, to consolidate Turkish-Moroccan relations, and encourage the development of trade.

Meanwhile, Moroccan PM Benkirane has apologised to Moroccan Employers’ Federation for the state failure to consult them before Erdogan’s visit, after the federation announced it would boycott the meeting between Moroccan and Turkish businesspeople.

Benkirane said the trade union had every right to feel aggrieved at not being consulted during preparation for the Turkish’s delegation’s visit, and described the federation as “a partner of the government in economic development.”

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