Egypt: Business at the service of heating up a historic relationship

On May 9, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Choukri traveled to Morocco as part of an official visit at the invitation of his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita. The latter received him at the headquarters of Moroccan diplomacy in front of the historic city of Chellah.

For some, this visit is like any other foreign minister, yet it is of particular importance in view of the announcements made after the meeting between the two diplomats.

After several interpretations of the Egyptian position on the Sahara issue, Sameh Choukri settled the debate and clearly expressed his country’s support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. An attitude all the more clear that it was included in the joint press release.

Cairo remains committed to a UN solution, but supports a solution to the conflict within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty. Sameh Choukri reiterated his country’s support for Security Council Resolution 2602 of 2021, which clearly recognized the relevance and centrality of the autonomy plan that Morocco had proposed as a solution to the conflict, and called on the parties, including Algeria, to participate in the political process.

In addition, Sameh Choukri took the opportunity of his presence in Morocco to pay tribute to Morocco’s serious and credible efforts with the aim of moving forward towards a political solution to the Sahara issue. The Kingdom, let us remember, continues to accumulate diplomatic victories and gain the support of Germany, Spain, France and the United States for the Autonomy Initiative. In addition, there is support from many African and Arab countries, which have opened diplomatic missions in the southern provinces.

Convergence of views

The Egyptian position reflects the convergence of views between Rabat and Cairo, which share the desire to deepen consultations on all issues of common interest. At this point, it was decided to relaunch the political coordination and consultation mechanism, the fourth session of which will take place in Cairo.

Although the date has not yet been announced, this meeting will take place in the second half of this year. This is an institutional mechanism through which the two countries can exchange views and coordinate their actions on the various issues of common interest at the Arab and African levels. “There is a convergence of views between Morocco and Egypt and a desire to translate bilateral coordination into joint initiatives that serve the interests of both countries as well as regional security, peace and stability,” Nasser Bourita stated during a joint press briefing with his Egyptian. counterpart.

Sensitive files on the table

Many are the sensitive issues that Rabat and Cairo can work on both at Arabic and at African level. It should be recalled that the two countries share membership of the Arab League and the African Union. However, sensitive issues are not lacking, we quote the sulfur case from the Renaissance dam (Ennahda), which opposes Egypt against Ethiopia on the exploitation of the waters of the Nile.

On this issue, Moroccan diplomacy is behaving with caution and moderation, especially as Cairo expects support from Morocco in return for its open support for the national cause. The Kingdom also has interests to preserve with Ethiopia. The question was at the heart of the discussions between Nasser Bourita and Sameh Choukri, who spoke about the latest developments in the conflict, which in the eyes of the Egyptians is an important issue as it is about water security.

With this in mind, Morocco fully supports Egypt’s sovereignty and water security, while rejecting unilateral decisions regarding the exploitation of the Nile’s resources. This is the official position of the Kingdom as expressed by Nasser Bourita in the joint press release, in which the leader of Moroccan diplomacy called on Cairo and Addis Ababa to favor coordination and consultation with good intentions, in line with the Security Council Resolution of September 2021.

The Egyptian Minister also stated that his meeting with Mr Bourita was an opportunity to discuss several issues of common interest in Africa, in particular the Sahelo-Sahara region, developments in Libya, the Palestinian question and the fight against terrorism, terrorist organizations and extremist ideology.

Soon business forum

In addition, the two countries now want to shift a gear up in economic cooperation. During their talks, Nasser Bourita and his Egyptian colleague stressed the need to promote investment and business in general.

It is clear that political convergence is not enough to strengthen international relations in the 21st century without common economic interests. The reason why Morocco and Egypt want to promote investment in both directions by setting up business forums. This is an initial step before the holding of the Joint Economic Commission, which will be headed by the heads of state of the two countries.

In this regard, the Joint Declaration emphasized that the economic and investment dimension is a fundamental pillar of the relationship between the two countries, given the ability of the two states to establish cooperation and complementarity in many areas. , the unique strategic positioning. of the two countries, their great economic potential and their excellent human skills.

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