Rabat – The Parliament of Canada reformed the Canada-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship Group on Tuesday, July 28. The group was dissolved in October 2019 due to the Canadian federal election and the establishment of a new government.
The creation of the parliamentary group was initially scheduled in April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moroccan Ambassador to Ottawa, Souriya Otmani, attended the group’s virtual constitutional meeting as a guest of honor.
The Canada-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship Group has always existed during previous Canadian legislative mandates, said a statement from the Moroccan Embassy in Ottawa.
The group includes Members of the Parliament from various political parties in the House of Commons (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber) of Canada. Senator Salma Ataullahjan and Deputy Emmanuel Dubourg will co-chair the group. Nine members will make up the group’s executive committee.
During the virtual meeting, Ataullahjan and Dubourg highlighted the quality of relations between the Canadian and Moroccan parliaments. They expressed their commitment to further consolidate the ties of parliamentary diplomacy with their Moroccan counterparts.
Meanwhile, Otmani emphasized the importance of parliamentary diplomacy, which is “made even more necessary in a globalized world.”
The Moroccan ambassador also welcomed the cooperation between Morocco and Canada, qualifying collaboration as “solid, deep, and multisectoral.”
Otmani recalled the visit of Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francois-Philippe Champagne, to Morocco in January 2019.
Proud to announce the launch today of 🇨🇦🇲🇦Parliamentary Friendship Group co-chaired by the Hon. Salma ATAULLAHJAN @SenatorSalma & the Hon. Emmanuel DUBOURG,
We look forward working closely with the Group on strengthening existing good relations 🇲🇦🇨🇦@GeorgeFureyNL @AnthonyRota pic.twitter.com/CFNaobyXmO
— Morocco in Ottawa (@MoroccoOttawa) July 28, 2020
In an online post, the Moroccan Embassy in Ottawa celebrated the creation of the friendship group.
“We look forward to working closely with the group on strengthening existing good relations,” the embassy wrote.
During the meeting, Otmani highlighted the strength of relations between Morocco and Canada, recalling that the two countries are celebrating the 58th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
Morocco is Canada’s third economic partner in Africa, she said. Trade volume between the two countries is over CA$ 950 million ($708 million).
Opportunities for economic cooperation are numerous and will certainly develop further after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moroccan diplomat said.
She also underlined the size of the Moroccan community residing in Canada.
“The community, strong of hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths combined, has good integration and contribution to the host society,” Otmani said.
According to her, the dynamism and high qualifications of the Moroccan community in Canada is an “excellent vector” for bilateral rapprochement.