Head of Government, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch highlighted on Friday in St. Petersburg the Royal vision to strengthen Africa's relations with its various partners.
Mr. Akhannouch, who represents HM King Mohammed VI at this international event, said in a speech during the first plenary session of the second Russia-Africa Summit that "HM the King was the first to draw attention to the need to change the angle of dealing with the African continent by its traditional partners."
This vision has been expressed several times, especially in the speech delivered at the opening of the Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum in Abidjan in 2014, he said: "Our continent does not need aid, as much as it needs mutually beneficial partnerships. It also needs human and social development projects more than humanitarian aid."
The Head of Government, who reaffirmed Morocco's "enduring commitment" to its relationship with its various strategic partners, noted that Morocco, under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has worked to diversify its strategic partnerships.
Under this Royal vision, the situation of the African continent and its future has become a central priority for Moroccan foreign policy, he said, adding that "the Royal vision stems from the fact that Africa has enormous human and natural potential, and legitimately aspires to define its role and interests in its relationship with the rest of the world in an independent and sovereign manner."
Thus, during this session, which was attended by many African heads of state and government, Mr. Akhannouch said, "The countries of our continent have the right, with complete independence, to determine the nature of the strategic partnerships they intend to establish with the various international groupings and active forces, taking into account their vital interests."
Regarding the distinguished diplomatic relations between Morocco and Russia since the eighteenth century, the head of government stressed that these ties have been significantly strengthened since the visit of HM King Mohammed VI to Moscow in 2016, during which an in-depth strategic partnership was established, covering a wide range of areas of cooperation, including agriculture, energy, fisheries, science and technology, culture, and higher education.
Mr. Akhannouch said he was honored to represent HM the King at the Second Russian African Summit, which will be held on July 27-28 in Saint Petersburg, noting that this year's session "reflects the determination of the Russian Federation to strengthen friendly relations and constructive cooperation with the participating African countries, support their efforts to achieve comprehensive development and effectively face the various challenges they face."
The Head of Government noted that this summit is taking place in a turbulent and unclear international context, marked by instability, increased conflict and tension in several regions of the world.
In this context, Mr. Akhannouch explained the fundamental determinants on which Morocco's position is based with regard to the current crises.
According to him, it is a question of respecting the territorial integrity of the States Members of the United Nations, respecting the principles of international law and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, adhering to peaceful means of resolving disputes, and avoiding the use of force.
In this context, and in view of the challenges posed by the Ukrainian crisis at the level of food and energy security, especially in the African continent, the Head of Government continues, the Kingdom of Morocco believes in the need to intensify efforts and encourage international and regional cooperation to face the challenges of this crisis, remove obstacles and build a future that enables all countries of the continent to guarantee their food security as well as in the field of energy.
Mr. Akhannouch also expressed Morocco's aspiration that this summit will strengthen these relations and launch innovative areas of cooperation capable of promoting development, consolidating security and stability on the African continent, and opening wider horizons for the future of African-Russian relations.
The head of government arrived on Thursday in St. Petersburg to represent HM King Mohammed VI at the second Russia-Africa summit.
The Moroccan delegation participating in the summit includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, and Morocco's Ambassador to Russia, Mr. Lotfi Bouchaara..