Morocco continues to position itself firmly on the international stage. In a new political move to strengthen ties, this time King Mohammed VI sent a letter to the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, analysing bilateral relations between the Moroccan kingdom and the Emirati country with a view to further strengthening collaboration between the two countries.
The royal message was delivered by Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Foreign Minister, during a reception hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. At the meeting, Nasser Bourita conveyed the greetings of the Alawi monarch and his wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of the UAE. The Emirati President reciprocated by expressing his wishes for the further development and growth of the North African nation. Both stressed the important ties between the two nations, highlighting their shared vision on a number of issues.
The message launched focuses on the brotherly ties between the two countries and the means of strengthening and developing them to meet the aspirations of the two countries and the two brotherly peoples for further development and progress, according to the official Emirati news agency WAM.
Nasser Bourita and Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan discussed possibilities for cooperation between the two nations in various sectors, including sports and social development for sustainable economic progress. They also discussed the upcoming COP28 climate summit to be hosted by the Arab country.
The conclave was also attended by Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun al-Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Emirati Ministry of the Presidential Court; Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar, Emirati Minister of State; and Fouzi Lekjaa, President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and Chairman of the Committee responsible for Morocco's bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which would be jointly organised with Spain and Portugal. This diplomatic move is the latest in a series in which Nasser Bourita and Fouzi Lekjaa have made several trips around the Gulf, delivering letters from King Mohamed VI to the region's leaders with the aim of strengthening political ties with different countries in the region and to rally support for the 2030 FIFA World Cup bid.
The ties with the UAE are strong, especially since the Emirati country showed its support for Morocco's territorial integrity in relation to the Western Sahara dispute. In fact, the UAE has planned to open a consulate in what Morocco calls the southern provinces. The Moroccan kingdom proposes as a solution to the Saharawi conflict a broad autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, respecting UN resolutions, with the aim of developing the territory socially, economically and administratively, giving the Saharawis great room for manoeuvre and reserving for the Moroccan state matters of security, defence and foreign policy. Several important countries such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Israel and Spain have shown their support for the Moroccan proposal, considering it the most serious, credible and realistic way of settling the Saharawi conflict.
The Polisario Front's initiative, supported by Algeria, which advocates holding a referendum on independence for the Sahrawi population, has less international backing.
The UAE is Morocco's second largest trading partner in the Gulf region and the third largest investor in the country, a sign of the important link between the two countries. Emirati investments are also very present in Morocco in important sectors such as energy, telecommunications, renewable energies and phosphates, an area in which the North African country is one of the most important producers in the world, which shows its relevance in the chemical and agricultural sector.
Before the Emirates, it was the turn of Moroccan diplomatic action for Saudi Arabia with the letter sent by the Alawi monarch to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, which was transmitted by Nasser Bourita and Fouzi Lekjaa during their stay in the Saudi kingdom. The King of Morocco sent a letter to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and President of the Saudi Council of Ministers focusing on the strong bilateral relations between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples with the aim of strengthening and consolidating them in various sectors. Mohammed VI also made contact with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, with whom mutual relations between the Moroccan kingdom and the Qatari emirate were also discussed as part of the political tour of Morocco.
🇲🇦- 🇦🇪| M. Nasser Bourita a remis, aujourd’hui à Abou Dhabi, un message écrit adressé par Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI à Son frère, le Président de l'État des Emirats Arabes Unis, Son Altesse Cheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyane.@MohamedBinZayed pic.twitter.com/BclwGRcvLc— Maroc Diplomatie 🇲🇦 (@MarocDiplomatie) August 7, 2023
The main objective of the diplomatic tour is to strengthen ties between Morocco and the Gulf countries, as well as to gather support for Morocco's bid to host the 2030 World Cup together with Spain and Portugal. King Mohammed VI is clear about the strategic importance of being able to organise this event, and in his last speech on the occasion of the Throne Festival he described the bid as "historic", adding that it is an "unprecedented bid that brings together two continents, Africa and Europe, as well as two civilisations".