Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire Strengthen Counterterrorism and Development Cooperation
Washington, DC, January 22, 2014 (MACP) — Almost a year after he visited Cote d’Ivoire during a four-nation tour of West Africa, King Mohammed VI welcomed Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and his wife Dominique Ouattara to Morocco for a two-day visit that concluded Wednesday.
During the visit, King Mohammed VI and President Ouattara chaired the signing of 16 bilateral cooperation agreements, five of which focused on security and counterterrorism. In an official joint statement, both leaders “underlined that the fight against [terrorism] requires comprehensive and integrated strategies that include security aspects, combating radical ideologies and sustainable development.” They agreed that “security threats by extremist groups constitute a major challenge for States’ stability and a hindrance to socio-economic development of African states.”
Socio-economic development was the other major focus of the visit, and Ministers from both countries signed agreements promoting trade, education, and health cooperation. On Wednesday, some 500 business and government leaders gathered in Marrakech for the second iteration of the Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum under the theme “Morocco-Côte d’Ivoire: ongoing, dynamic emergence.”
It was during the first Forum, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in February 2014, that King Mohammed VI had said that “Africa should learn to trust Africa” and called for greater cooperation and increased private-sector investment to promote development across Africa. Ahead of this year’s Forum, Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid noted that trade exchanges between Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire have tripled between 2009 and 2013.
During the visit, President Ouattara also congratulated Morocco on its efforts to find a definitive solution to the Western Sahara conflict, and reiterated Cote d’Ivoire’s firm support for Morocco’s autonomy proposal. This comes just one week after Egypt expressed its “attachment to Morocco’s territorial integrity.”
Contact: Jordana Merran, 202.470.2049
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