Morocco and India have agreed to hold the seventh session of the Joint Cooperation Commission and the fifth session of bilateral political consultations, among other meetings, in “the near future.”

Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, held a videoconference meeting with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on Thursday, October 22.

During the meeting, the two diplomats discussed Moroccan-Indian cooperation and a series of issues of common interest. They also planned future bilateral meetings.

At the start of the meeting, Bourita and Jaishankar welcomed the momentum of Morocco-India relations over the past five years. Bilateral ties became stronger after King Mohammed VI visited the South Asian country in October 2015 and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The royal visit to India deepened bilateral relations and led to several agreements. Since King Mohammed VI’s trip, Morocco and India organized 27 bilateral ministerial visits, which resulted in more than 40 agreements and memoranda of understanding.

Bourita and Jaishankar discussed means to further boost cooperation. They gave particular focus to the fields of trade and economy and pledged to exchange visits of economic delegations.

The Moroccan FM took the opportunity to invite Indian investors to take advantage of the opportunities Morocco has to offer and expand in the North African country.

In the field of tourism, the two diplomats agreed to examine the possibility of adopting an electronic visa system to simplify procedures for visitors from the two countries and promote cultural exchange.

International issues

Shifting towards international affairs, India’s FM welcomed Morocco’s efforts in facilitating inter-Libyan talks seeking a solution to the Libyan crisis.

In September and October, Morocco hosted in Bouznika two dialogue sessions between delegations from the Tripoli-based High Council of State and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. The Morocco-facilitated negotiations led to “important understandings.”

Bourita, on the other hand, congratulated India for its election as a member of the UN Security Council for two years, starting January 2021.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction about the commonalities Morocco and India share, such as commitment to multilateralism and South-South cooperation.

Recalling the success of the third India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, which King Mohammed VI attended, Bourita and Jaishankar agreed to begin consultations to organize a similar event in the future.

On the Western Sahara issue, the Indian FM expressed his country’s support for the UN-led political process. He also said that India acknowledges Morocco’s efforts to reach a long-lasting and mutually-acceptable solution to the territorial dispute.

Finally, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Bourita and Jaishankar exchanged compliments about how their countries handled the crisis.

India’s FM specifically mentioned Morocco’s initiative to send medical aid to African states. Meanwhile, Bourita congratulated India for its “promising” work on a COVID-19 vaccine.

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