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Politics

Morocco-Russia : «The military commission met twice,» said Bourita

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation visited Moscow yesterday  in an attemt to revive Moroccan-Russian strategic relations. In addition to the economic benefits of the royal visit in March 2016, welcomed by Nasser Bourita, Morocco and Russia adopt almost the same opinions regarding a number of international issues.

Nasser Bourita, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation./Ph. DR

Nasser Bourita co-chaired yesterday in Moscow alongside the Russian Minister of Agriculture, the joint Moroccan-Russian commission. A meeting that takes place almost 16 months after King Mohammed VI’s visit to the country, during which the two parts signed several mutual agreements.

The kingdom wants to revive its strategic relations with Russia. Since March 2016, «exports of Moroccan tomatoes to the Russian market have increased by 35% as well as seafood which reached 20%. Morocco is the second most important economic partner of Russia in the Arab world and in Africa,» said Bourita in an interview conducted by the Arabic version of Russia Today. These exchanges are expected to be revised upwards in the near future.

The two countries have the same opinion regarding the Gulf and Libya crisis

This commercial upturn is not the only reason for Bourita's satisfaction. The minister welcomed the level of Moroccan-Russian coordination in the fight against terrorism, apreciating the fact that the joint commission set up for this purpose has «met twice» in recent months. Nevertheless, he did not announce any kind of weapons' deal with Russians, even though the Russian Minister of Agriculture reported that his country is willing to provide the Royal Armed Forces with military equipments.

However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has neglected a question asked by a journalist about a possible accession of Morocco to the initiative of President Putin to constitute an «international front against terrorism».

Nasser Bourita preferred to present the Moroccan experience in this area, specifying that the kingdom is «a main operator in the fight against terrorism». And to recall that the Moroccan strategy had been presented, two years ago, in front of the Security Council.

Finally, it is clear that on some international issues, Rabat and Moscow adopt almost identical opinions. This is evidenced by the crisis that is shaking the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Libya. On the first subject, Morocco and Russia are calling for peaceful talks while regarding   Libya, the kingdom initiated an opening on the camp of the self-proclaimed Marshal Khalifa Haftar, supported among others by Russia.

Last May, Bourita had received the president of the Libyan parliament, Aguila Salah, sitting in Toubrouk and close to Haftar.

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