Liberia, Morocco Exchange Bilateral Views

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Delegates who attended the discussion posed at the end of their discussions

A high-level technical working meeting between Liberia and the Kingdom of Morocco has ended in Monrovia with a consensus to sign a framework that both countries will observe in their bilateral relation.

The framework is expected to be signed sometime this year.

The meeting, which began with a consultation and a welcoming dinner on May 9, discussed the principles and basic constituents of the framework that both countries can live by to meet certain objectives relative to the agreements.

The Moroccan head of delegation Youssef Slaoui on behalf of his Government, expressed delight for the Monrovia meeting that will discuss the future of the cooperation with their Liberian counterparts.

The cooperation, Slaoui said, has a framework and principle that member countries can abide by. The discussion was to facilitate and strengthen the values that are to be observed and preserved as the two countries move ahead.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Elias Shoniyin said in the early 2000 when Liberia was emerging from the civil war, it signed a bilateral agreement with Morocco whereby both countries agreed to periodically meet to discuss their relations.

In the discussion, Minister Shoniyin said both countries determine some of the tangibles that have been achieved under those arrangements.

The first joint commission meeting, according to Minister Shoniyin, was convened in 2011, during which time seven agreements were signed, including Air Services, Youth and Sports, Transport and Infrastructure.

The delegates hope to assess the agreements to see where progress has been made and where the needs are for progress.

He added that in the ongoing discussion there are ten agreements to look at in the next two days, following which the two countries will sign.

“This second joint commission meeting emphasizes education, health, infrastructure, transportation and sports, and we believe that addressing these areas will meet President George Weah’s ‘pro-poor Agenda aimed at  touching the lives of the ordinary people,” Minister Shoniyin said.

Minister Shoniyin said while there are benefits to Liberia in the bilateral relation, there were more tangible development initiatives in surrounding countries as compared to Liberia.

He said his concern expressed in the opening statement will also be discussed in the joint commission technical discussion.

He said Morocco was heavily engaged in infrastructural development projects including bridges, public buildings and others in neighboring countries as compared to Liberia.

Meanwhile, there are some tangible benefits Liberia receives from its relation with Morocco, because  the country is one of those hosting a number of Liberian students on international scholarship.

In transportation, Air Moroc continues to fly to Liberia, along with Kenya Airways, taking passengers from here to other parts of Africa and the world over.

It may be recalled that during the Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015, Air Moroc and Kenya Airways were the only two airlines that remained in business in Liberia.

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