Speaking at the International High-Level Conference on Sahel, held Friday in Brussels, Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita underscored the priority given to the Sahel in Morocco’s foreign policy as evidenced by the multiple royal visits paid in recent years to Sahel countries, where Morocco is working together with friends in multiple cooperation areas including economic and social development.
Bourita recalled that Morocco kept stressing the need to address the deteriorating security conditions in the Sahel-Saharan region where porous borders and surge of terrorist and trafficking groups, in connivance with separatist militias, are seriously undermining the region’s stability.
He said that Morocco advocates a comprehensive approach that combines security measures with economic and social development while taking into consideration environmental concerns.
In a message to Algeria, Bourita said that addressing security challenges in the Sahel requires collective efforts that break away with the “blackmail”. “Theories of exclusiveness in this area have shown their limits. Only international action and regional cooperation could help address the challenges facing the region,” he said.
The conference raised €414 million in support of the G5 counter-terrorism force set up by five Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger), whilst reinforcing the coordination of sustainable development efforts in the region.
The International High Level Conference on the Sahel was co-chaired by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel group.