Morocco has always made West Africa a priority in African politics, said Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, on Wednesday.
Speaking to Radio French International (RFI), Bourita talked about Morocco’s request to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a full-fledged member.
“Morocco is the number one investor in this region. Morocco has participated in many peacekeeping and crisis management operations [in West Africa],” Bourita said.
Asked about Morocco’s African policy, Bourita, said, “The human and religious ties between Morocco and West Africa are deeply rooted. The economic presence also of Morocco in this zone is very strong.”
In February, during the king’s tour of the continent, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar informed the president of the ECOWAS of Morocco’s interest in joining the organization.
Founded in 1975 following the Treaty of Lagos in Nigeria, ECOWAS is a 15-member regional group, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.
“Geographically, Morocco is west of Africa. So all the elements are there to support its candidacy,” added Bourita, who was alongside King Mohammed VI during his meeting with the French president on Tuesday at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Bourita also met with France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, according to France Diplomatie.
The two ministers met to take stock of the French-Moroccan partnership and discuss regional affairs as well as issues peace, development and security in Africa.