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Morocco boosts foreign policy thanks to Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation

Moroccan Ambassador to the US presents the Royal Atlantic Initiative in Washington during a joint briefing by the Moroccan Embassy and the US State Department.

Saad Guerraoui

WASHINGTON – The US State Department and the Moroccan Embassy in Washington jointly organized a briefing on the latest developments in the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation attended virtually by ambassadors and representatives of the 38 member countries of this initiative.

During this meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Chancellery of the North African Kingdom, Moroccan Ambassador to the US Youssef Amrani highlighted Morocco’s active role in promoting a stable, prosperous and inclusive, capable of promoting the socio-economic transformation of the entire region.

Amrani emphasised the Royal Initiative which places the Atlantic at the heart of King Mohammed VI’s bold and innovative vision for the African continent on the basis of the principles of solidarity, cooperation and co-development.

Returning to the structuring projects implemented within the framework of this Initiative, the ambassador specified that these concrete actions aim to create an economic corridor linking Atlantic Africa to the northern and western hemispheres, in addition to promoting access for the Sahel countries to this maritime space.

Referring to the importance of ensuring complementarity between the various initiatives aimed at building an enlarged Atlantic area, Amrani stressed that it is in this spirit that Morocco actively participates in the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation and co-chairs, with Spain and Angola, a working group on Marine Space Planning.

He concluded by recalling that the Atlantic constitutes for Morocco a priority geostrategic zone, a vector of peace and sustainable development, and that their joint efforts will make it possible to establish as an essential dynamic space on the international scene.

Ambassador Jessye Lapenn, Senior Coordinator for Atlantic Cooperation, spoke of the shared values ​​which favour the emergence of a common Atlantic identity.

Lapenn invited member countries to work closely together to overcome “the similar challenges we face and seize the prospects for integrated development, likely to ensure the sustainability of the resources of the Atlantic Ocean for generations to come.”

Partnership members agreed to advance collaboration on marine spatial planning, led by Spain, Morocco, and Angola; and scientific capacity building and exchange led by Portugal, the United States, and others.

Members also decided to convene a variety of workshops in 2024 on issues of mutual interest such as: marine plastic pollution; abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear; food and nutrition security; and innovative financing tools for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a media note released last week by the State Department.

The Partnership will continue to advance scientific cooperation by sharing information and building capacity.  The senior officials agreed to support the development of marine spatial plans as a critical tool for sustainable economic and social development in Atlantic coastal states, and to foster comprehensive Atlantic Ocean data collection, sharing, and analysis, it added.

The Partnership engages in collective problem-solving of shared challenges and advances shared principles for Atlantic cooperation, as reflected in the Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation adopted in New York in September 2023.  Members share a commitment to a peaceful, prosperous, open, and cooperative Atlantic region, while protecting the ocean as a healthy, sustainable, and resilient resource for generations to come, it concluded.

Analysts believe that Morocco’s involvement in the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation will boost the North African Kingdom’s presence in the Atlantic, further boost it foreign policy with its partners throughout the Atlantic region and reinforces its sovereignty over its Sahara, curbing Algeria’s long goal of gaining access to the ocean through the Polisario separatist front.

The Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation was launched on September 18, 2023, by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, as a multilateral forum that heralds a new era in regional cooperation.



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