Standing at the gateway of Africa and at the junction of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the Kingdom of Morocco is the closest Arab country to the European continent. Politically it occupies a similar role. This reality is further strengthened by the development of an intense EU-Moroccan political dialogue and a deep economic co-operation built on a longstanding tradition of social and cultural exchanges.
Within this perspective, Morocco has worked together with its European partners to respond to challenges faced both internally and within the Maghreb region, and which require an in-depth study of the means needed to maximize an already fruitful co-operation. Moreover, new security stakes call for enhanced co-operation founded on a comprehensive and genuine partnership. As such, the many reforms undertaken by Morocco bare testimony to its strong commitment to guarantee a prosperous and stable environment for its present and future generations. It is only by the pursuit of such a strong alliance that we may rise to the mutual challenges faced in this relationship.
Mid-way through the UK’s Presidency of the EU, the conference co-organized by the Governments of Morocco and the United Kingdom comes at an opportune time to explore these challenges. It will also provide a forum to take stock of political reform and the development of the Barcelona Process, as well as issues of global security. Furthermore, the conference will tap into renewed discussions of EU neighbourhood policy and spur the discussion of EU-North African relations.
- Dr Kim Howells, Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa Affairs, FCO
- H.E Taïb Fassi Fihri, Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Kingdom of Morocco