Rabat - His Majesty King Mohammed VI addressed on Friday the 25th meeting of the Crans Montana Forum which kicked off in Rabat.
Here is the full text of the royal message read by foreign minister, Salaheddine Mezouar.
Praise be to God, May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send you this message, at the opening of the 25th session of the “Crans Montana Forum”, which is being held under my high patronage, and to welcome the prominent personalities attending this distinguished meeting in their second home, Morocco.
I would like, first of all, to commend you on choosing the topic of “Heading to the South-South, not a strategy but a necessity”. This reflects the growing importance of south-south cooperation in achieving stability and progress in Africa.
Indeed, south-south cooperation should not remain a mere empty slogan, but become a tangible reality. It is a must which has to be addressed through a holistic, participatory and integrated approach that can help achieve effective results.
I am confident that our continent, with its combined natural resources and human potential, can create an “African miracle”, based on security, stability and human development and conducive to progress and prosperity.
This miracle is not just a dream, nor an aspiration, but a tangible reality that our peoples can achieve, if artificial disputes are resolved and if there is a political will to join efforts in order to build a stable and unified Africa.
As I said in Abidjan, if African countries want to stay the course and achieve economic and human development, they should build self-confidence and self-reliance.
Furthermore, security and stability in the continent depend, first and foremost, on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. They also require coordination in the fight against terrorist organizations and arms, drugs and human trafficking gangs. Those are a threat not only for regional security, in the Sahara and Sahel area, but for the whole Euro-Mediterranean zone, and even worldwide.
The South in general, and African countries more particularly, are in need of effective south-south cooperation, based on solidarity between all countries, through comprehensive regional strategies focused mainly on sustainable human development.
They should also adopt triangular cooperation as an innovative mechanism for optimal use of available resources, both between regional economic groupings in the South, and within the framework of balanced and mutually beneficial partnerships with the North.
In this regard, the Kingdom of Morocco is willing to share the experience and know-how it has accumulated and to build on the confidence and credibility it enjoys with both its partners and international institutions, as part of this triangular cooperation, for the benefit of African peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As Morocco is a nation deeply-rooted in Africa, I have been keen to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood, cooperation and solidarity with African countries and peoples, in the various political, economic, social, spiritual and cultural fields.
Convinced that our continent is able to foster the much-awaited “African miracle”, the Kingdom of Morocco is making every effort for the emergence of an African continent that is proud of its identity, derives its strength from its spiritual and cultural heritage, a continent that is liberated from the yoke and shackles of the past, free from any inferiority complex, and asserting itself as a modern, ambitious and enterprising Africa.
This hope and the confidence I have in Africa stem from a profound conviction that the future of the continent lies in the men and women who live in it and that the future of Africans lies in their continent.
This is the reason why South-South cooperation, as we see it - effective and solidarity-based - is a pillar of our foreign policy. This is illustrated by the many visits I paid to a number of African sister nations, as well as by the development projects achieved and cooperation agreements concluded, in all fields, during these visits.
In this context, a comprehensive and homogenous approach was adopted, combining the need for building bilateral partnerships based on effectiveness and solidarity, and the imperative of laying the foundations for solid integration between African regional blocs.
The Moroccan approach is based, in a balanced way, on three pillars:
1- Promoting the status of the African citizen by giving priority to human development programs and boosting economic growth. The capacity of African countries to rely on their own resources is best illustrated by the strategic partnership signed between Morocco and Gabon in the field of fertilizers. The aim is to take advantage of natural resources in both countries to develop agriculture and contribute to achieve food security in the continent.
2- Consolidating spiritual bonds which have at all times existed between Sub-Saharan populations and the King of Morocco, Commander of the Faithful, and enhancing cooperation in the religious field, with African brothers who voiced the wish to avail themselves of the Moroccan religious model, based on the Malekite rite, which advocates a tolerant and moderate Islam and whose tenets are shared by African peoples. The training of Imams in Morocco is an illustration of this cooperation.
3- Contributing effectively to bringing security and stability to the continent, either through mediation initiatives for the peaceful settlement of disputes or through participation in UN peace keeping operations in Africa.
I should like to take this opportunity to stress Morocco’s pledge to continue its efforts to give fresh and renewed momentum to cooperation with countries from the South, both at the bilateral level and within regional groupings.
I want to stress once again that Morocco is keen to develop an innovative model for South-South cooperation, based on stronger involvement of private economic actors and on building partnerships between the public and private sectors, for a combined effort to further co-development objectives in African countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Morocco believes in our continent’s capacity to create the “African miracle” we aspire to.
This, however, can only be achieved through collective, dedicated efforts to build strong and sustainable economies, settle inter-African disputes peacefully and lead a common action to rise to the development and security challenges facing the continent, on the basis of solidarity, complementarity and integration.
I am confident this important meeting, thanks to the expertise, competence and vision of the participants, will be an opportunity to exchange views on the tangible steps needed to go forward in our endeavors to achieve peace, stability, human development and prosperity in Africa.
Furthermore, thanks to the recommendations you will adopt, this meeting will help strengthen the bonds which exist between African countries and support efforts to explore new avenues for prospective partnerships with specific objectives and innovative mechanisms for their implementation.
Once again, I welcome you to the Kingdom of Morocco and I pray that Almighty God grant you success in your endeavors.
Wassalamu alaïkum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.