Rabat – King Mohammed VI received the French president upon his arrival in Tangier at the royal salon of the Ibn Battouta Airport in Tangier.
After talks between the leaders, Macron was also greeted by Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani; the King’s advisors, Fouad Ali El Himma and Andre Azoulay; Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
Besides launching the LGV, Macron’s official trip to Morocco reflects the strong bilateral ties between the two countries.
The successful story of Africa’s first LGV high speed train started in 2007, when King Mohammed VI and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the project.
Construction was launched four years later in 2011.
The project, which included collaboration and loans from several French companies, cost €2 billion.
According to BFMTV, the French government “is engaged in financing 51 percent through various loans, including one granted by the French development agency of 220 million euros.”
The €2 billion cost represents a budget approximately 15 percent higher than the initial estimate of €1.8 billion, calculated in 2007 at the launch of the project.
Morocco received a loan of €80 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed train project in October 2017.
AFD’s loan followed the French agency’s initial grant of €220 million to establish the project.
Among the French companies that collaborated in the building and furnishing of the LGV are SNCF, Alstom, Cegelec, and Ansaldo-Ineo.
The cooperation has led international media to describe the LGV as a “flagship project of the bilateral relationship.”