‘Proud of belonging to Africa,’ King Mohammed VI says
King Mohammed VI expressed, in an interview with Malagasy media, strong pride of belonging to Africa and deep feelings of appreciation to African peoples and countries he has visited during his African tours.
“I would like to pay tribute to my African brothers and to our continent. Every visit for me has been an occasion to strengthen ties with the African peoples that I love and respect,” the Moroccan Monarch told journalists in Antananarivo, the second leg of a new African tour that already took him to Ethiopia.
The king who expressed pride at belonging to Africa said that Morocco and Africa are “inseparable”.
He highlighted the positive memories kept by the Royal family regarding the Malagasy people in the city of Antsirabe where his late grandfather and his family where exiled for two years by the French colonial authorities in 1954.
The King explained that the hospital and the vocational training centre he has launched in Antsirabe are open to all Malagasy populations regardless of their faiths. Morocco is neither proselytising nor discriminating people on the basis of their religions, he said. He also highlighted Morocco’s tolerant and moderate Islam and explained that the Commandership of the Faithful in Morocco means the faithful of all religions, not only Islam.
On the economic partnership between Morocco and Madagascar, King Mohammed VI highlighted the importance of the cooperation agreements signed in his presence in Antananarivo, saying these agreements evidence Morocco’s willingness to help Madagascar make headway in social and economic development projects. In this respect, the Monarch urged the Moroccan private sector to forge partnerships with its Malagasy counterpart.
He said his visits to Africa are not about giving lessons but rather sharing experiences. “I am looking forward to establishing a strong south-south cooperation underpinned by solidarity between African states,” the Sovereign said.
King Mohammed VI explained further that his African tours aim at bolstering an inter-African cooperation model, noting that Morocco has a longstanding history of cooperation with friendly African countries and that the Kingdom did not wait for the announcement of the African Union to invest in Africa.
Following the visits to several African countries without pre-conditions, the Monarch voiced satisfaction at the support expressed by Morocco’s old and new friends in Africa regarding the Kingdom’s return to its legitimate place in Africa’s institutional family.