SOURCE: Moroccan American Center for Policy

January 22, 2015 16:39 ET

Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire Strengthen Counterterrorism and Development Cooperation

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - January 22, 2015) - (MACP) - Almost a year after he visited Cote d'Ivoire during a four-nation tour of West Africa, King Mohammed VI welcomed Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and his wife Dominique Ouattara to Morocco for a two-day visit that concluded Wednesday. 

During the visit, King Mohammed VI and President Ouattara chaired the signing of 16 bilateral cooperation agreements, five of which focused on security and counterterrorism. In an official joint statement, both leaders "underlined that the fight against [terrorism] requires comprehensive and integrated strategies that include security aspects, combating radical ideologies and sustainable development." They agreed that "security threats by extremist groups constitute a major challenge for States' stability and a hindrance to socio-economic development of African states."

Socio-economic development was the other major focus of the visit, and Ministers from both countries signed agreements promoting trade, education, and health cooperation. On Wednesday, some 500 business and government leaders gathered in Marrakech for the second iteration of the Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum under the theme "Morocco-Côte d'Ivoire: ongoing, dynamic emergence."

It was during the first Forum, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in February 2014, that King Mohammed VI had said that "Africa should learn to trust Africa" and called for greater cooperation and increased private-sector investment to promote development across Africa. Ahead of this year's Forum, Morocco's Economy and Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid noted that trade exchanges between Morocco and Côte d'Ivoire have tripled between 2009 and 2013.

During the visit, President Ouatarra also congratulated Morocco on its efforts to find a definitive solution to the Western Sahara conflict, and reiterated Cote d'Ivoire's firm support for Morocco's autonomy proposal. This comes just one week after Egypt expressed its "attachment to Morocco's territorial integrity."

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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