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Rabat – Morocco’s and Colombia’s foreign ministers have signed several bilateral cooperation agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their revived, South-South cooperation-based friendship.
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, and his Colombian counterpart Claudia Blume signed the accords during a virtual meeting on April 6, according to a joint press release.
Within the context of strengthening their improving bilateral ties, the two sides agreed to improve cooperation in “priority areas,” such as agriculture, tourism, culture, traditional industry, and security.
Amid shared concerns over the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries agreed to bolster both their bilateral coordination and their commitment to multilateral conventions and agreements.
Issues such as organized crime, migration, drug trafficking and climate change were also highlighted by the two sides.
On Western Sahara, Blume reiterated Colombia’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for the southern provinces. Colombia’s top diplomat also emphasized the Moroccan plan’s importance for reaching a “permanent, realistic and lasting political solution in full respect for Moroccan sovereignty and its territorial integrity.”
Speaking approvingly of Colombia’s human-centered response to mass migration from Venezuela, Bourita drew attention to the converging, humanitarian migration policies adopted by the Moroccan and Colombian governments.
Bourita especially highlighted Colombia’s successful handling of the nearly 2 million irregular Venuzuelan migrants who have settled in the country in the wake of Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.
The virtual meeting saw the signing of multiple agreements between the two countries, fortifying their dynamics of South-South cooperation.
One of the agreements was concerned with the abolition of short-term residence visas for both countries’ citizens holding regular passports, while another agreement covered air services between the two countries. The two sides also signed a MoU on furthering cooperation in the field of drug control, as well as an additional MoU between their respective agencies for international cooperation.
Morocco and Colombia have enjoyed stable relations in recent years. In 2013, Morocco was among the first countries to vocalize support for the reconciliation between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army, a revolutionary left-wing insurgent group.
For its part, Colombia has expressed constant and resounding support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. Most recently, the country was one of the many voices in the international community to welcome Morocco’s intervention in Guerguerat to foil Polisario’s military maneuvers in its southern provinces.
In their meeting, Bourita and Blume took pleasure in their countries’ ever-improving ties, while suggesting their South-South platform could also serve as a model for greater cooperation between Africa and Latin America.