Morocco underscores Mauritania’s key role in Atlantic initiative

Morocco underscores Mauritania’s key role in Atlantic initiative

Mauritania has a central role to play in Morocco’s Atlantic initiative aiming to offer access to the ocean to landlocked Sahel countries and promote regional economic integration and shared development.

Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita made the remarks at a joint press conference in Rabat with his guest Mauritania’s foreign minister Salem Ould Merzoug.

King Mohammed VI had called, in a speech in November, for an international initiative to ease Sahel countries access to the Atlantic and global trade.

Sahel countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad subscribed to the initiative at the highest level in view of its potential in unlocking the economies of the region.

Bourita said Morocco backs Mauritania as a bacon of stability in the region and that the Kingdom looks forward to stronger ties.

Bourita also expressed satisfaction with the partnership with Mauritania and recalled that the Kingdom is the largest African trading partner of Nouakchott.

For his part, Ould Merzoug said his visit is part of the momentum expressed by the two heads of state for stronger ties.

“Mauritania lauds Morocco’s wisdom as well as its development,” he said, urging further cooperation between the two countries.

He mentioned a convergence of views with Morocco on a range of regional and bilateral issues, including trade flows through trucks.

There was a sharp increase in Moroccan trucks exporting fresh produce to the Mauritanian and West African market. But a recent custom duty hike led to disruption of truck traffic in the Moroccan-Mauritanian border crossing of Guerguarat.

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