adoption of seven international agreements and postponement of consideration of two others

adoption of seven international agreements and postponement of consideration of two others

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously adopted seven bills approving international agreements, while it postponed consideration of two other bills approving two multilateral agreements between competent authorities on the exchange of declarations between countries and the automatic exchange of information relating to financial accounts.

On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, affirmed that the seven agreements adopted are part of the implementation of the High Royal Guidelines relating to the consolidation of cooperation and partnership relations between Morocco and several brotherly and friendly countries, as well as the strengthening of the Kingdom’s position on the continental and international levels.

The Minister clarified that two of these agreements, concluded with Saudi Arabia and Djibouti, respectively concern the air transport and merchant marine sectors, specifying that the air transport agreement signed with Saudi Arabia, on September 28, 2022 in Montreal, defines the rights granted by each party to the institution of air transport concerned, including the right of transit without landing, landing for commercial purposes and cargo, among others.

In the same context, Bourita affirmed that the agreement signed with Djibouti in the field of the merchant navy, on November 14, 2022, stipulates that each country must reserve for the ships and crews of the other party as well as for goods and passengers a treatment similar to that granted to its boats.

Regarding the four regional agreements, Bourita said that two of them were signed in a pan-African framework, one at the Arab level and another at the level of Islamic countries, specifying that the first of these agreements concerns the general convention on the privileges and immunities of the Organization of the African Union / African Union, signed in Accra on October 25, 1965.

The second agreement relates to the statute of the African Center for the Development of Mineral Resources, adopted in January 2016, he continued, specifying that Morocco’s adoption of this agreement is part of the efforts led by the Kingdom to support sustainable development, access to energy, resource development and capacity building.

This status aims at coordination and participation for the implementation of the African vision in the mining sector and the action plan in this field, with the aim of enabling this sector to fully play its role in the development process of the continent.

In this regard, the Minister affirmed that Morocco’s adoption/accession of these two legal mechanisms approved within the framework of the African Union will be accompanied by an Explanatory Declaration which stipulates that Morocco’s adoption/accession can in no way be understood or interpreted as recognition by the Kingdom of an act, a reality, a situation or an entity not recognized by Morocco, likely to undermine its territorial integrity and national unity.

Among the regional agreements is also, According to Bourita, the revised convention on the recognition of higher education, their diplomas and scientific degrees in Arab countries, explaining that it establishes the general criteria for the recognition of higher education qualifications and its diplomas, encourages signatory States to align their national legislation with its provisions and to take the necessary measures for coordination at the national, bilateral and multilateral levels.

As for the latest regional agreement, it concerns the Statute of the Work Center of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, adopted in Tashkent in October 2016, with the objective of creating a structure dedicated to the development of concrete projects and strategies on the ground, to support the principles and initiatives of the Member States and to accompany them in the application of legal mechanisms related to work, employment and social protection, he said.

In addition, Bourita underlined the importance of the multilateral agreement on the establishment of a representation of the International Center for the Development of Migration Policies in Morocco, under which this structure undertakes to implement projects and programs in the main sectors of common interest, such as capacity building for the Kingdom and advisory and legal assistance services in this area.

With regard to draft law n°76.19 approving the multilateral agreement between the competent authorities for the exchange of declarations by country and draft law n°77.19 which approves the multilateral agreement between the competent authorities for the automatic exchange of information relating to financial accounts, both signed by Morocco on June 25, 2019 and whose consideration was unanimously postponed, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi El Alami explained that the House received correspondence from the President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Islamic Affairs and Moroccans Residing Abroad which includes the observations of this body on the two projects.

This correspondence indicates that all the members of the commission presented remarks concerning a set of articles of the two agreements, taking into account the questions and concerns raised by members of the Moroccan community abroad and believe that their adoption in this form could harm their interests.

Talbi El Alami added that, given the interventions of the presidents of the parliamentary groups during the legislative session and the aforementioned data, and under article 192 of the internal regulations of the Chamber, the latter refers the two bills to the committee concerned and postpones their examination in accordance with article 190 of the internal regulations, until the government revises certain articles that could harm the interests of Moroccans residing abroad.

In the same context, Bourita affirmed that these two agreements were signed in 2019 at the initiative of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as part of the efforts and urgent measures taken by Morocco to get out of the European Union’s gray list of countries that do not comply with the standards related to tax transparency.

The two agreements are important and are part of Morocco’s adherence to the international effort in the fight against corruption and tax transparency, the minister stressed, recalling that they contain articles which have raised legitimate questions, relevant observations and reasonable fears from a section of the Moroccan people who enjoy special attention from HM King Mohammed VI, namely the six million Moroccans residing abroad who felt that these two agreements contain provisions that damage to their interests.

Bourita pointed out that the government presented its presentation to the relevant committee and carefully followed the remarks of the deputies, given their legitimacy and the fact that they expose the concerns of citizens, including Moroccans residing abroad, specifying that Morocco respects and will respect its international commitments in terms of support for tax transparency and the fight against tax evasion and money laundering, while assuming its role in the fight against the financing of terrorism.

However, adds the minister, the government has listened to and taken into account the legitimate questions, the numerous relevant observations and the reasonable fears expressed by the Moroccan community established abroad, as well as by the deputies.

He underlined that all these questions require, if necessary, explanations, more detailed clarifications, or reformulations to avoid any ambiguity or misuse or any infringement of the rights of the Moroccan community abroad, arguing that the government is clear on this subject and will renegotiate these questions if necessary.

And Bourita concluded that the Moroccan community residing abroad is a red line and that no international agreement can be placed above its interests, adding that Morocco, which adheres to this international effort, ensures that its international commitments do not harm the interests of this segment of the Moroccan people.


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