By Own Correspondent with Support from Liberianobserver – Morocco has deepened it’s friendship with Liberia, three agreements were signed during the week in the areas of Transport, Youth and Sports and Culture.
The singing ceremony in the Liberian capital was at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry in Monrovia at the end of a two-day joint commission meeting held from April 19 – 20, 2011.
This first Joint Commission meeting sought to strengthen friendship, solidarity and cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and Liberia. The Moroccan 20-man delegation was headed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Ouzzine, who signed for his government. The next joint commission meeting is to be held in Rabat, Morocco at a later date
Liberia’s ministers , headed by Foreign Minister Toga McIntosh, said he recalled key role played by the two countries in the early days of the African liberation struggle and in the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU) in 1963. In this regard, the Liberian side called upon Morocco to be reintegrated into the African Union. For decades now, Morocco pulled out of the OAU (now the AU) over the territorial dispute over the southern province.
Liberia also welcomed the Kingdom of Morocco’s autonomy proposal for the Southern provinces and reaffirmed its continued support for the territorial integrity of Morocco.
In this vein, Liberia has agreed to lend support to Morocco’s candidature for the non-permanent member of the African group for the period 2012-2013 for which elections are were held in October 2011.
The Moroccan delegation later pay a courtesy visit to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice president Joseph Boakai, while in the country as well as the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate. They also met with the Ministers of Education and Commerce.
The inaugural joint commission meeting also discussed regional and international issues of common interest and agreed to strengthen regional cooperation within ministerial conference of African Atlantic States that offers an innovative and pragmatic framework of South-South cooperation.
In his opening statement, Foreign Minister McIntosh recalled the two historic agreements on November 28, 1997 in which they decided to set up a joint commission to provide institutional framework for managing the bilateral cooperation, which is being implemented after 15 years. He also recalled when Morocco opened her Embassy near Monrovia in the 1970s and maintained a presence in the country until Liberia’s civil conflict erupted in December 1989. Liberia opened her Embassy in Rabat in 1990.
For his part, the Moroccan Secretary of state recalled the early days of the decolonization period when Liberia and Morocco were struggling to assist other African countries in their path towards freedom and independence and life through what was then known as the Casablanca and the Monrovia Groups.
He expressed the hope that despite the time constraint, the inaugural joint commission meeting would make relevant progress in the areas of education, health, vocational training, forestry, water management and electricity supply. Both countries praised the excellent relations existing between the two countries. Liberia particularly extolled the peacekeeping role Morocco continues to play on the international scene.