The joint candidacy of Morocco, Portugal and Spain for the organization of the 2030 World Cup carries symbolic messages of cultural and human rapprochement between these countries, underlined, Friday in Lisbon, the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the 14th High Level Meeting (HLM), held under the joint chairmanship of Aziz Akhannouch and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, the Head of Government underlined that this meeting is of an exceptional nature, insofar as it comes after an important event, that of the joint candidacy of Morocco, Portugal and Spain for the organization of the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
The holding of this HLM also reflects, according to Akhannouch, “the common assets of which the two countries abound”, Morocco and Portugal maintaining distinguished and fraternal relations at the highest level, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI and President Marcelo Rebelo. of Sousa.
Furthermore, the Head of Government expressed Morocco’s thanks to Portugal for Lisbon’s positive position in favor of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and the autonomy initiative, as a serious and realistic solution to the artificial conflict around of the Moroccan Sahara, which comes on top of those expressed by several European countries which now support the Moroccan position.
Akhannouch also expressed his gratitude to the Portuguese government for its support for Morocco within the various institutions of the European Union, especially after the “incomprehensible” attitude instigated by certain parties within the European Parliament against the Kingdom.
He added that during this 14th High-Level Meeting, Rabat and Lisbon agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership, able to strengthen their bilateral political consultation and create optimal conditions to lay the foundations for a permanent bilateral strategic dialogue, which is based on a renewed reading of the good neighborly agreement.
In this regard, Akhannouch said that the two countries have expressed their common will to continue to strengthen the strategic cooperation framework, and to raise it to higher levels, through a new generation of bilateral cooperation agreements.
He recalled, in this regard, that the two countries have signed twelve cooperation agreements covering different areas such as justice, culture, rural housing, tourism, crafts, women and young people, in addition to investments in other areas, arguing that such agreements can raise bilateral cooperation “to the strategic level to which we aspire”.
The Head of Government noted that Morocco and Portugal have assets allowing them to engage in forward-looking strategic projects, including the electricity interconnection project between the two countries, renewable energies, digital economy, agriculture and transport, in addition to other sectors of the future, such as clean energies, in particular green hydrogen.
As part of the strengthening of this partnership, Akhannouch considered that the maritime link project and the promotion of air services between the two countries stand as additional pillars for the deepening of the economic and commercial partnership between Rabat and Lisbon, congratulating, in the same vein, the encouraging results of the forum organized on the sidelines of this HLM, with the participation of Moroccan and Portuguese businessmen, which constitutes, in his view, an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral partnership, to encompass other fields, such as the automotive, textile and agricultural industries.
For his part, the Portuguese Prime Minister stressed that Morocco and Portugal, two neighbors linked by strong relations, are countries that count in their Mediterranean environment.
The two countries have decided to raise their bilateral relations to the level of a long-term strategic partnership encompassing cooperation in various fields, added the Portuguese Prime Minister, noting that great opportunities are open to the two countries to strengthen their cooperation in the fields of youth, employment, scientific research, industries and culture.
The high-level meeting was crowned by the signing of 12 agreements in different strategic areas with the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation.
These agreements, which were signed during a ceremony under the joint chairmanship of the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, particularly concern the economic, energy, cultural, higher education, crafts, social solidarity and justice.