The Head of Government, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr. António Costa, co-chaired, on May 12, in Lisbon, the 14th session of the Morocco - Portugal High-Level Meeting, under the theme: "Morocco-Portugal: an strategic partnership 2023".
In a speech at the opening of this HLM, Mr. Akhannouch stressed that this 14th edition is held "in a context of multiple meanings, and under a theme that reflects the maturity of bilateral relations, based on mutual respect and the common will to strengthen cooperation on bilateral and multilateral levels."
He also noted the continued commitment of both countries to promote bilateral cooperation on multidimensional levels, in accordance with the aspirations of the Heads of State of both countries, HM King Mohammed VI and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who have never ceased to surround these relations with their high concern.
Mr. Akhannouch also welcomes the joint bid presented by Morocco, Portugal and Spain for the organization of the 2030 World Cup, which should be a distinguished edition in all its sporting, human and cultural dimensions, since it is the first World Cup organized by two continents.
"We have no doubt that the realization of this dream will show the world a rare cultural harmony and an exceptional geographical proximity between Africa, the Arab world and Europe," he said.
The Head of Government noted that the two countries have succeeded in recent years to enrich and diversify the legal framework of their partnership, through the establishment of a new generation of bilateral cooperation agreements in various economic, and social areas.
"Our meeting today is an opportunity to assess the balance of this cooperation since the last session of the High Joint Committee held in Rabat, and to work together to bring together the means to activate the mechanisms of this cooperation and overcome potential difficulties," he said.
These exceptional relations do not only concern the bilateral dimension, but also includes coordination, consultation and exchange of views on several issues and regional and international challenges, noted Mr. Akhannouch.
In this sense, he noted that Morocco has shown a unique political determination in the Euro-Mediterranean region through structuring projects with strategic and prospective dimensions, as is the case of the project of electricity link between the two countries, a real lever for building a sustainable partnership in vital sectors.
These include the sectors of renewable energy, digital economy, agriculture and transport, taking into account the potential of Morocco and Portugal to establish a fruitful and beneficial cooperation for both parties, facilitating in addition the opening on the African space in the perspective of a trilateral cooperation, he added.
In addition, Morocco welcomes the support of Portugal to the application of the Kingdom to obtain the status of observer member of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), with a view to joining this organization of great importance, and this in recognition of historical and cultural ties shared and in order to help address the common challenges between Morocco and the countries of this community, said Mr. Akhannouch.
In this regard, the project of maritime link between a Moroccan port and the port of Portimão, in southern Portugal, is an additional asset alongside air transport which is significantly growing through a diversified offer deployed on several Moroccan and Portuguese airports, in order to ensure an optimal flow of goods and people and encouragement tourism between the two countries.
The Head of Government also welcomes the investment efforts in sectors of the future, such as clean energy, including green hydrogen, expressing the hope to see an effective accompaniment of the development effort undertaken by Morocco, especially in its southern provinces, for which it has set up an ambitious development program, aimed at establishing them as an economic and commercial pole as a portal to sub-Saharan Africa
For his part, the Portuguese Prime Minister stressed that Morocco and Portugal are neighboring countries bound by strong relations, which weight in their Mediterranean environment.
The two countries have decided to raise their bilateral relations to the level of a long-term strategic partnership encompassing cooperation in various fields, added the Portuguese Prime Minister, noting that great opportunities are open to both countries to strengthen their cooperation in the field of youth , employment, scientific research, industries and culture