Morocco to open new horizons of cooperation with Australia

BYYasir Rehman


Kingdom of Morocco would establish close parliamentary ties and open new horizons of cooperation with the Commonwealth of Australia to bring the two nations further closer for mutual benefit.

It was stated by the President of the House of Representatives of Morocco, El Habib El Malki in an exclusive interview with Vibe Media in the cosmopolitan Sydney at the conclusion of his first ever visit to Australia and New Zealand.

After the Australian Embassy opened in Rabbat, bilateral ties are witnessing new heights. Mr Maliki said that this parliamentary rapprochement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Commonwealth of Australia comes at a moment when the Moroccan Parliaments opens up new windows of cooperation with other continents.

El Habib El Malki, alongside a delegation of heads of four parliamentary groups comprises of members from coalition and opposition met with the Speaker of the Australian Parliament, Tony Smith MP and the President of the Australian Senate, Scott Ryan.

“Parliamentary Diplomacy constitutes an important driver for the fact that it is an extension of the official diplomacy and parliamentarians are the key players in the strengthening of bilateral ties”, he said.

He informed that Moroccan Parliament is active within the sphere of the African continent and takes various innovative initiatives.

“We are aware that Africa is the future of the world, where more growth and opportunities are expected in the upcoming decades”, he argued.

El Malki said in meeting with the Speaker of the Australian Parliament and the President of the Australian Senate, we tackled the viable ways to enhance this promising cooperation, reinforced by the creation of the Moroccan Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group in 2017. In this regard, this momentum is to be seized in order to further reinforce these excellent relations.

The President of the Moroccan Parliament considers that geographical distance cannot be an obstacle for the reinforcement of cooperation between Rabat and Canberra, being leaders in their respective regions and aiming to share their know-how on various levels. El Malki did acknowledge the role played by Australia in the South-East Asia and the Pacific regions.

On business and trade relations, he said economic ties figured among the important subjects of discussion with our Australian interlocutors. Morocco is a gateway to Africa due to its major and huge investments in the continent and the Kingdom performs well economically since many years. It goes without saying that Australia is one of the most advanced economies, not only regionally but at the world level as well. Hence, economic ties between the two countries have to be strengthened in light of their huge potential. During this visit, we have identified a number of sectors that can be key drivers for the increase of trade between Morocco and Australia, notably agriculture, water management, renewable energy (a sector in which our country is a key player worldwide). The recent opening of an Australian Embassy in Rabat and the establishment of the Australian Moroccan Business Council will also contribute with this aim.

He informed that Morocco is a popular tourist destination and last year 40 thousands Australians visited Morocco and said tourism is a sector with immense potential to grow.

In Sydney, Mr El Malki and his delegation also met with Speaker of the Parliament of New South Wales , John Ajaka and examined various possibilities of sharing expertise on the regional and local levels.

“Morocco is a country determined to follow the model of advanced regionalization which reflects the far sighted vision of the King for a decentralised Morocco. In this respect, the experience of Australia in terms of regional and local management can be beneficial”, he elaborated.

President of the House of Representatives visited alongside the Ambassador and the Moroccan Parliamentary Delegation, the Australian War Memorial, where he laid a wreath in memory of the War victims.

Mr Malki along his delegation also paid an official visit to New Zealand where they had a fruitful time notably with the Speaker of the Parliament, Trevor Mallard, members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, and the Friendship Group for Middle East and North Africa.

He said during these meeting we shed lights on the opportunities to seize in the field of parliamentary cooperation.

“Morocco and New Zealand are two countries sharing common values and principles and our Parliaments can also be a key player in this bilateral cooperation marked by mutual understanding on a number of issues”, he believed.

The Moroccan delegation also paid visit to the Wellington War Memorial.