King Mohammed VI Urges South-South Cooperation between India and African Nations
Washington, DC, October 29, 2015 (MACP) — In a strong show of Morocco’s leadership in Africa, King Mohammed VI led a delegation of more than 300 government officials and business leaders to the third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi this week (October 26-29), making the case for south-south cooperation between Africa and India—two of the world’s fastest-growing regions.
“The Forum should serve as a platform to lay the foundations for an efficient, solidarity-based, multidimensional South-South cooperation model, through which we can make optimal use of the resources and potential available in our countries,” said the King in a speech delivered to Summit attendees on Thursday.
Recalling a speech he had delivered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in 2014, the King emphasized that “Africa deserves fair partnerships, rather than unbalanced relationships and conditional support… Africa does not need assistance as much as it needs mutually beneficial partnerships…”
On the Morocco-India partnership, the King said that “Morocco looks forward to launching joint initiatives with India, within the framework of this Forum, in areas which are a priority for our peoples and in which our two countries have gained extensive expertise.”
“Given the mix of development challenges and unprecedented terrorist threats they face,” he said, “the Member Countries of this Forum should adopt a comprehensive approach rooted in close cooperation with India. Morocco is ready to set up a joint working group to this effect, in order to ensure coordination and information sharing.”
In a testament to the “promising African-Indian partnership,” Morocco and India signed two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) at the Summit—one between the Moroccan Center for Export Promotion (Maroc Export) and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), and the other between Maroc Export and India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce.
Remarking on the two countries’ long relationship, King Mohammed VI recalled in his speech how his grandfather King Mohammed V and Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru “were both engaged in the struggle for the liberation and independence of African States,” and lauded “India’s ambition to play a key role within UN agencies in charge of global peace and security.”
The King expressed “appreciation for the Republic of India’s constructive position concerning the Moroccan Sahara issue and for supporting the UN process to resolve this artificial conflict.”
King Mohammed VI has long made south-south cooperation and African development a cornerstone of Morocco’s foreign policy. Under his leadership, Morocco has “become the top African investor in West Africa and the second biggest in the continent,” and with hundreds of trade and development agreements on the continent signed in recent years, is well-placed to serve as a hub for investment and trade there.
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