Moroccan Minister delegate to the Foreign Minister, Youssef Amrani, stated today in Rabat that strengthening ties with Asia is one of Morocco’s top priorities in terms of foreign relations. Amrani’s statement came after a meeting with the Vietnamese deputy foreign minister Nguyen Thanh Son. The Chinese deputy foreign minister also made a recent trip to Morocco and Morocco’s foreign minister Saad Dine El Otmani just returned from a trip to Japan.
Morocco’s interest in increasing diplomatic relations with Asian nations reflects the platform of the Justice and Development Party to increase international relations. In the past Morocco, has profited from strong ties to Europe and the United States but has had little ties with Asian countries. Economic troubles in Europe and the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse has prompted Morocco’s shift in diplomatic priorities.
Amrani and the Vietnamese deputy foreign minister discussed the latest developments in the Moroccan Sahara conflict and the efforts taken by Morocco to settle the dispute. Amrani stated that, “Vietnam supports the political resolution and dialogue at the UN on our national cause, the Moroccan Sahara.”
I feel that Morocco’s move to increase relations with Asian nations will enhance the country’s sphere of influence and strengthen its global standing. In the past, Morocco has been highly dependent upon European countries such as France and Spain. With European economies struggling, I am glad to see that Morocco is being proactive and working to foster relations with Asian nations with rapidly growing economies. I also feel that Morocco’s stance on building ties with Asia speaks to the growing power of the Justice and Development Party. This suggests that recent political reforms are moving Morocco in the right direction in terms of international affairs.