The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, held talks, on Thursday, September 25th, 2014, in New York, on the sidelines of the 69th session of UN General Assembly, with his counterparts from Argentina, Paraguay, New Zealand, Lithuania, Mali, as well as with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
During these meetings, several issues of mutual interest were discussed, including the Middle East, Syria, Iraq and Palestine, the rise of the danger of terrorism and the means to consolidate relations of partnership between Morocco and these countries.
During the meeting with Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hector Timerman, the two officials exchanged views on international issues of common concern, including the situation in Syria, the international coalition against terrorism and the Middle East peace process.
Mr. Mezouar took the occasion to emphasize the importance of promoting the bilateral relations to include other areas of partnership between the two countries, while raising other issues that will be discussed in-depth, during the next working visit to Morocco of the Argentinean Minister.
Besides this, Mr. Mezouar held also talks with the Paraguayan Foreign Minister, Mr. Eladio Loizaga, during which the two officials expressed satisfaction with regard to the quality of relations between the two countries.
In this respect, Paraguay’s Minister emphasized his country’s willingness to upgrade the level of the diplomatic representation of his country in Morocco to that of Ambassador, expressing, in the same context, his country’s eagerness to establish a strategic partnership with Morocco in all areas. In addition to this, the two sides agreed on setting up a Forum that would bring together businessmen of the two countries, with the aim of strengthening the bilateral economic relations and increasing the volume of trade. It should be noted that Paraguay withdrew its recognition of the bogus entity, in January 2014
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation also met his Lithuanian counterpart, Mr. Linas Linkevičius.
The talks focused on ways to promote bilateral economic relations, particularly in the field of transport, equipment and textiles, through the creation of a Business Council, to be composed of traders from both countries. In this regard, the two sides agreed to make of the next working visit to Morocco by the Lithuanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, an opportunity to launch an exemplary economic partnership between the two countries.
The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues, including the crisis in Ukraine, the issue of terrorism, the situation in the Maghreb region, and Morocco’s role in Africa.
Mr. Mezouar, then, had a meeting with his Malian counterpart, Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, in the presence of Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Omar Hilale.
During this meeting, Mr. Salaheddin Mezouar said that Morocco will always support Mali and its stability, reiterating the constant commitment of His Majesty the King to helping the process of national reconciliation succeed between all parties and safeguarding the territorial integrity of this sisterly nation.
For his part, the Malian Foreign Minister Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, said that the role of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI is "crucial" for the restoration of stability and the achievement of the national reconciliation in Mali.
Mr. Diop expressed the Malian President’s feelings of respect and esteem, for to the person of His Majesty the King, as well as the confidence of the Malian people and government, in the Sovereign’s fundamental role, in the restoration of stability and the achievement of national reconciliation between the parties to the conflict in this country.
The Malian Minister said that this confidence emanates from His Majesty the King’s stature, at the regional and international levels, highlighting the Sovereign’s tireless efforts in favor of the stability and development of the African continent. This meeting was also an opportunity to highlight the excellent relations between the two countries and discuss many issues of common interest.
Mr. Mezouar also held talks, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Mr. Murray McCully, on ways to further strengthen bilateral relations, including through the activation of political dialogue mechanisms and the exchange of views on various regional and international issues. Mr. Mezouar said, in this regard, that Morocco is open to all forms of economic partnerships with friendly countries, while stressing that the establishment of a partnership with New Zealand and the diversification of economic and trade relations will be beneficial for both countries.
For his part, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his country's interest in Morocco’s role in Africa, suggesting, in this context, the coordination of cooperation projects, on food security in Africa and the production of fertilizers.
Mr. Mezouar had, also, a meeting with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gaston Browne. The two officials focused on the relationship of trust and solidarity that links the two countries and on efforts to support human development. Discussions focused further on the political aspects of the bilateral relations between the two countries. In this regard, the two Ministers agreed to continue the exchange of views on issues of common interest.
In the same context, Mr. Gaston reiterated his country’s constant position that supports Morocco’s territorial integrity, through backing the efforts of the Security Council to reach a political solution of compromise, welcoming, on this occasion, the pertinence, the realism and the seriousness of the Moroccan autonomy plan for the southern provinces, presented as a final solution to this conflict.