Russia eager to deepen political dialogue with Morocco on Sahara issue settlement

Russia has reaffirmed Tuesday its willingness to deepen political dialogue with Morocco on the settlement of the Sahara issue.

This came in a phone conversation Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had with his Moroccan peer Nasser Bourita.

The two men discussed ways to bolster bilateral relations and the upcoming Joint Intergovernmental Commission to be convened in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The two officials also discussed topical international and regional issues, the statement added.

According to diplomatic sources, the 8th Joint Intergovernmental Commission was postponed to a later date. The 7th edition of the commission was convened in Casablanca in October 2018.

Moroccan-Russian economic relations have been steadily growing, heralding that the North African kingdom is about to become Russia’s first trading partner in Africa.
Trade relations are most flourishing in farm produce, as 77% of Moroccan agricultural exports, mainly citrus fruits and tomatoes, go to Russia.

Last October, the two countries signed an agreement, under which Russia will build a petrochemical complex in the Moroccan Northern city of Nador on the Mediterranean.

The agreement, which is estimated to be worth €2 billion ($2.2 billion), was signed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, held in Sochi.

The petrochemical complex, to use Russian expertise and latest technologies for the refining and storage of petroleum products, will have a refining capacity of 100,000 barrels a day. The capacity will eventually reach 200,000 barrels a day.

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