Foreign Ministers Luigi Di Maio and Nasser Bourita meet in Italy to strengthen their political, economic, migratory and security relationship

Italia define a Marruecos como un “socio central en el norte de África”

Bourita y Di Maio

Morocco is a central partner for Italy "not only from a political point of view but also from a cultural and economic one", stressed the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, last Wednesday in Rome.

During a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad, Nasser Bourita, both leaders declared that they intend to "deepen our partnership through high-level consultations". 

Without giving dates or further details on what both countries are planning, during the press conference they clarified that the political relationship between both countries will be strengthened in the political, economic, migratory and security areas.

Bourita took the opportunity to express his country's satisfaction with "the excellence of the economic and commercial relations that confirm Morocco's position as a very important partner for Italy". 

The Moroccan foreign minister also took the opportunity to meet with the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, who stressed the strengthening of relations which, according to the president, must be based "on a multidimensional strategy".

They also announced that despite the coronavirus health crisis, trade between the two countries will increase by 4.6% in 2019. In this regard, Di Maio recalled the significant presence in Morocco of Italian companies in different sectors. These meetings have been an opportunity to discuss the prospects offered by the Moroccan market for these companies in the future.

From Italy they offered various support measures to alleviate the pandemic in the Alaouite kingdom and thus resume trade relations as soon as possible. Di Maio expressed his "full readiness to organize, as soon as possible according to the evolution of the health situation, a Business Forum focused on the most important economic sectors in Morocco".

Major meetings, forums and events will still have to wait, but bilateral relations between foreign ministers are advancing many future policies that will benefit both countries in a joint development. The Italian minister took the opportunity to congratulate and express his satisfaction with the collaboration of both countries in the area of migration.

Di Maio also highlighted the importance of cultural, scientific and technological cooperation which constitutes "a fundamental pillar of our bilateral relations", underlining Rome's determination to strengthen its relations with the Moroccan Kingdom in these areas.

Bourita y Di Maio
Regional security in North Africa of concern to the international community

The discussions between the two foreign ministers focused on important regional and international issues, including the question of Libya, and Di Maio said that "Italy appreciates Morocco's commitment to this issue, especially the initiatives that allowed the Libyan delegations to meet in Bouznika".

For his part, Mr Bourita stressed that "Morocco particularly appreciates Italy's constructive attitude on the Libyan dossier".

The parties to the Libyan conflict are meeting in Morocco to try to find a peaceful solution that will lead the country to a unified democratic and constitutional transition. These talks are also being held in Egypt and Geneva, but it is the Moroccan discussion table that deals with internal political and administrative issues, from which a number of advances are being made towards a stable peace in Libya.

On migratory flows the two countries speak the same language. "We have agreed that irregular migrants represent a serious threat to the stability of our countries and the whole region," explains Di Maio. 

That is why, he says, "a common and shared effort is needed to tackle it". The Italian minister reiterated that, "Italy will never leave the Moroccan authorities alone in their collaboration in the fight against criminal and human trafficking networks".

Italy strengthens relations with Morocco on the Sahara issue

Italy reiterated its position on the territorial conflict in the Moroccan Sahara, welcoming the "serious and credible efforts" made by Morocco to resolve the regional dispute over the Spanish ex-colony.

The foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, and his counterpart Luigi Di Maio announced this following their joint meeting in Rome. "Italy reiterates its position expressed in the document of the Multidimensional Strategic Alliance signed in Rabat on 1 November 2019", reads the communiqué.

During the signing of the document in Rabat in November 2019, Italy praised "the serious and credible efforts led by Morocco" to resolve the regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara. 

Since April 2017, Italy has been supporting the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco for the region of the Moroccan Sahara, to the south of the country bordering Mauritania. In the terms of this declaration, Rome had also reaffirmed its support "for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to continue the political process aimed at achieving a political, just, realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable solution" to the Sahara issue.

This support is based on "the commitment in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, in particular resolution 2494 of 30 October 2019".

This resolution calls on Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria and Mauritania to cooperate more fully with each other and to intensify their involvement in the political process and to make progress towards a political solution.

Document 2494 provides a reminder of previous resolutions (2000) and 2250 (2015) which emphasise "the importance of the parties' commitment to continue the negotiation process through the UN-sponsored talks and by encouraging the full, effective and meaningful participation of women and the active and meaningful involvement of youth in those talks".

The United Nations has recognised that "the status quo is not acceptable", and calls for negotiations to be encouraged as "they are essential to improving the quality of life of the people of Western Sahara in all its aspects".

International pressure is attempting to bring these talks back to the only possibility Morocco has put on the table: autonomy for the Moroccan Sahara area that functions as part of the Alaouite kingdom's policies. 

The Polisario Front is categorically refusing, while the Saharawis in the refugee camps in Tindouf are completing their 45th year in the Algerian desert, waiting for a solution.