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France reaffirms support for Moroccan autonomy plan, seeks 30-year partnership

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné emphasized France's «clear and continuous» support for Morocco's autonomy proposal. He further stated that the French President desires an «exceptional» relationship with Morocco, adding that Morocco can rely on France to defend its priority issues.

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French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné confirmed France's «clear and continuous» support for Morocco's autonomy proposal to resolve the Western Sahara conflict, during a press conference on Monday.

«The Moroccan autonomy plan has been on the table since 2007, and France has consistently supported it», Séjourné stated, following discussions with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita.

«We will continue to voice this support clearly. It's time to move forward, and I will personally encourage progress». he added. He also emphasized the importance of the issue for Morocco, calling it «an existential bet».

A France-Morocco 30-year partnership

In a new chapter for relations, the French diplomat announced France's proposal for a 30-year partnership with Morocco and urged Rabat to «rely on this new relationship based on trust». He emphasized Morocco as his first visit in the Maghreb region, highlighting the French President's desire for an «exceptional» partnership. Séjourné further stated his commitment to strengthening ties in the coming months, encompassing diverse fields.

Séjourné confirmed upcoming visits from French ministers, including those of Culture and Finance, reciprocating Moroccan ministerial visits. He emphasized their goal of building a 30-year partnership, acknowledging significant changes in Morocco. Praising reforms under King Mohammed VI, Séjourné stressed the need for foresight to «keep pace with the rapidly changing world».

He reiterated the historical importance of the relationship, vowing a strengthened partnership in renewable energy, training, and other areas. «Morocco can count on France to defend its priorities, both present and future», Séjourné affirmed.

Regarding Morocco's EU ties, Séjourné voiced support for cooperation and pledged to leverage his experience to strengthen Moroccan-European collaboration. He also congratulated Morocco on its presidency of the UN Human Rights Council, reiterating France's support. Séjourné concluded by emphasizing their desire to re-establish a strategic partnership, with Paris awaiting a visit from Foreign Minister Bourita.

Séjourné arrived in Morocco on Sunday and met with Bourita on Monday, aiming to ease tensions and strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Article modified on : 26/02/2024 17h42

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