This came in the joint declaration issued at the end of the 14th meeting of the EU-Morocco Association Council, held in Brussels Thursday under the co-chairmanship of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
According to their joint statement, Morocco and the European bloc underlined the untapped potential for growth and development which regional cooperation holds for the prosperity of the Maghreb, saying that “resolving the disputes and tensions affecting the region would play a very positive role in this regard and would favor the development of their partnership.”
The two partners agree to strengthen the strategic dialogue, political consultation and operational cooperation on common internal security challenges. These include combating organized crime networks, terrorism, and in particular the financing of terrorism, violent radicalization and the return of foreign fighters, illicit trafficking in drugs and arms, as well as police cooperation, the training of security forces and judicial cooperation, all in compliance with international law, including human rights and the rule of law.
In this regard, they agree to give priority to the sharing of information and experiences. In the same vein, both parties intend to develop common approaches in the area of external security, in particular vis-à-vis the Sahel, West Africa and other regions of interest, including the possibility for Morocco to take part in European Union civilian or military peacekeeping operations.
Both partners, who share a common attachment to multilateralism and the role of the United Nations, agree on the need to respond pragmatically to the profound changes in the nature of contemporary conflicts and to the new security challenges posed by terrorism and non-State actors.
They are determined to maintain an ongoing dialogue oriented towards action to promote a renewed multilateralism and agree, in this regard, to engage in joint activities at the United Nations to foster international peace and security.
Recognizing the importance of responding to the challenges facing Africa, they pledged to promote initiatives to foster peace on the continent, particularly with regard to peacekeeping, mediation and crisis management, seeking to encourage the development of a comprehensive approach combining the security dimension and human development.
The two partners agree that many international activities and initiatives by Morocco concerning the preservation of the environment and the climate, intercultural or inter-faith dialogue and combating terrorism and extremism are significant contributions on which to build joint responses in the context of responsible multilateralism.
The Morocco-EU joint statement expressed support for regional cooperation, both through the Arab Maghreb Union and bilateral dialogue between neighboring countries in the Maghreb and through their involvement in the bodies which bring together European and North African countries, such as the Union for the Mediterranean and the ‘5+5 Dialogue’.
In this connection, EU and Morocco welcome the ‘Summit of the Two Shores – Forum for the Mediterranean’ initiative, which includes civil society to give new impetus to cooperation between countries in the Western Mediterranean region.