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On Throne Day, Moroccan Ambassador highlights co-operation with Nigeria

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Moroccan Ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma

BY KUNLE SOLAJA, ABUJA

Morocco’s Throne Day was celebrated in Abuja, Nigeria on Sunday.

The Throne Day is a national occasion usually celebrated on 30 July. It is also to commemorate the day of the King’s accession to the throne and was first celebrated in 1933 to recognise the accession of Mohammed V  in 1927.

This year’s celebration marked the 24th anniversary of the accession of the current monarch, King Mohammed VI, under whom sports has blossomed in the kingdom.

The Atlas of Morocco took African football and that of the Arab World to an all-time height as the team reached the semi-final of the World Cup last year.

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As if to put an icing on the cake at the Throne Day celebration on Sunday, the Moroccan Women’s team beat their South Korea counterparts 1-0  to ignite a hope of doing wonders at Women’s World Cup in Australia.

Later that evening at the Dunes Royal Hall in Abuja, the Moroccan Ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma hosted members of the diplomatic corps and prominent   Nigerians at a reception marking the Throne Day.

While emphasising on the contribution of Kingdom of Morocco since its creation in 789, the ambassador spoke glowingly on the cooperation the country has had with Nigeria over the years.

His remarks: “In this context , Morocco and Nigeria have a strong historical relationship, built on centuries-old human and cultural ties .

“The city of Fes in Morocco and the Kingdoms of Borno, Kano, and Sokoto had during centuries very close relations .

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“On this foundation, a prosperous relationship between Morocco and Nigeria has been built and is already on the way to a partnership of excellence.

“The Nigeria-Morocco-ECOWAS Gas Pipeline Project is now a mature project on the verge of being launched.

“This project, which will be one of the world’s largest construction sites, will shape the future of West Africa, and contribute to the region’s booming economy.

“The investment undertaken in Nigeria by « Office Chérifien des Phosphates » (OCP), the world’s largest fertilizer exporter, augurs a prosperous future for Nigerian agriculture.

“The Moroccan company has already built three fertilizer production plants in Kaduna, Ogun and Sokoto, and helped renovate more than 50 blenders across the country.

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“OCP is also planning to build a large fertilizer production complex in Akwa Ibom State, which will enable Nigeria to achieve autonomy in fertilizer production to meet the needs of its agriculture. The amount of this investment is evaluated at 1,3 billion US dollars .

“The relationship between Morocco and Nigeria is also based on human exchanges.

“Morocco has become one of the preferred destination for many Nigerians.  Fez, the cradle of the Tijaniya , Marrakech and its splendors ; Tangier at the intersection of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean , and the legendary Casablanca have all become familiar locations for Nigerians.

“I have no doubt that this promising partnership has a bright future.”

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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POLITICS

King Mohammed VI Invites Tinubu To Morocco –

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Morocco’s monarch, King Mohammed VI has invited Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu to Morocco after having a telephone conversation with the Nigerian leader. According to a statement  during a phone exchange that took place today.

A statement from the royal palace said that the two leaders discussed the development of bilateral relations between Morocco and Nigeria over the past few years.

The discussion also covered the African-Atlantic Gas Pipeline, which is a structuring project between Nigeria and Morocco that will be a strategic lever for regional integration and socio-economic development for all West African countries.

Initiated in 2016 first by King Mohammed VI and former president of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, the pipeline aims to promote regional integration and reinforce Africa’s energy security. Morocco is set to host over 1600 kilometers of the project, which is 5,600 kilometers long in total.

King Mohammed VI has frequently emphasized the importance of the project, reiterating Morocco’s commitment to the pipeline project with Nigeria.In November 2023, during a speech the King gave commemorating the Green March, he stressed the potential benefits that the pipeline could bring not only to Africa but also to Europe.

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“The Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline  strategic project is part of that endeavor,” he said, referring to the purpose of the project; to promote regional integration and boost economic growth.
The pipeline is set to connect over 11 countries in the region to benefit from Nigerian gas sources.
Many countries have endorsed the project, including Senegal.

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US reaffirms support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan on Western Sahara

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The US State Department has affirmed the country’s support for Morocco on the Western Sahara issue.

In a statement of support issued on Sunday, the Americans remarked: “There is no change in the clear and consistent U.S. position regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue.”

 

The statement is published on the eve of the visit to Morocco of U.S. Assistant Secretary for North Africa Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Joshua Harris, the State Department stressed that during his talks in Rabat, the U.S. official will reiterate that “there is no change in the clear and consistent U.S. position.”

This new reaffirmation of the consistency of Washington’s position provides a scathing denial of the fallacious allegations conveyed by some Algerian media outlets which have insinuated, following the recent visit to Algiers made by the U.S. official, an alleged change in the U.S. position on the Sahara issue.

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“The United States fully supports UN Personal Envoy de Mistura in facilitating the negotiations process to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution for the Sahara,” the statement points out.

After recalling that the United States “believes a negotiated political solution should be realized without further delay,” the same source underlines that “the outcome of UN-led negotiations – mutually agreed to by the parties and reflecting their commitment to UN efforts in a spirit of realism and compromise – would constitute the final resolution to this issue.”

“In this regard, the United States continues to view Morocco’s Autonomy Proposal as serious, credible, and realistic,” it says.

The visit to Rabat of Deputy Assistant Secretary Joshua Harris will also focus on the means to further strengthen the U.S.-Morocco partnership in addition to a range of regional security priorities, the statement stress

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Morocco, UAE strengthen ties

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco and President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates

Morocco’s monarch, King Mohammed VI and United Arab Emirate’s President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday engaged in high-level talks aimed at bolstering bilateral cooperation on Monday.

They issued a press release in which both countries highlighted the mutual appreciation and deep-rooted affection.

King Mohammed VI commended President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for successfully overseeing the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) held in Dubai.

The meeting showcased the two countries’ shared commitment to boost ties, with emphasis on a multidimensional partnership across many spheres.

King Mohammed VI underscored Morocco’s strides in infrastructure and structural reforms, outlining a vision of economic and social development through strategic investments.

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On his part, President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan hailed Morocco’s potential as an investment hub, acknowledging the nation’s diverse assets and conducive business climate. The leaders affirmed their intent to cultivate innovative partnerships, exploring collaborative ventures that would benefit both nations economically and socially.

They also expressed keen interest in implementing joint action plans based on signed agreements, aiming to pioneer common partnerships in regional and international markets.

King Mohammed VI extended gratitude to President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the UAE’s unwavering support on national issues and Morocco’s development.

The talks concluded with an optimistic outlook, fostering a renewed sense of cooperation and shared aspirations for the future.

Following the talks, the two leaders signed a joint declaration, committing to boosting bilateral ties and cooperation in a wide range of sectors.

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The declaration is titled “Towards an Innovative, Renewed, and Deep-rooted Partnership,” and aims to strengthen ties between the two countries through win-win economic ties.

The declaration’s text indicates that King Mohammed VI’s visit to the UAE came at the invitation of Al Nahyan.

“During their bilateral talks… the two Heads of State reiterated their firm and resolute commitment to elevate the relations between the two countries and their mutual cooperation towards broader horizons, through active economic partnerships serving their shared supreme interests, generating progress and prosperity for the two brotherly peoples,” the declaration reads.

The declaration expresses the two countries’ desire to work towards elevating bilateral ties in economic, commercial, investment, and industrial aspects to the “level of deep political” ties to serve the development goals of both countries.

The two countries also aspire to establish a model of comprehensive and balanced economic and investment cooperation open to the private sector, attracting benefits for both.

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