Morocco-ASEAN ties 'closer than ever': Vietnamese envoy

RABAT – Relations between Morocco and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are "closer than ever", Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Morocco Dang Thi Thu Ha said.

In a statement to MAP on the sidelines of a ceremony at the Indonesian Embassy to commemorate the 56th ASEAN anniversary, Thi Thu Ha said Morocco and ASEAN now enjoy closer relations than ever, following the creation of the ASEAN Committee in Rabat in 2015, the Kingdom's accession to the Association's Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 2016, its proclamation as an observer member of the Association's Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in 2020, and its accession as an associate member of the Association of ASEAN Ministers of Education in 2021.

Recalling that Morocco had obtained the status of sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN last July in Jakarta, Thi Thu Ha, also president of the ASEAN Committee in Rabat, expressed her conviction that this partnership will contribute to strengthening the multifaceted cooperation between the two parties, given the central role of regional bloc in Southeast Asia and the strategic geographical position of Morocco as a gateway to Africa.

"The status of Sector Dialogue Partner with ASEAN also illustrates the far-sighted vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI in favor of strengthening relations between Morocco and the Association", the diplomat said, noting that this event is the opportunity to highlight the major achievements of this political, economic and cultural organization founded in 1967.

Meanwhile, the ambassador, director general of Bilateral Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Fouad Yazough, commended the historical ties between Morocco and Southeast Asian countries and memorable achievements that have blossomed in the Morocco-ASEAN partnership over the past years.

"Under the high impetus of HM the King, and as part of his strategic vision aimed at diversifying and consolidating its partnerships at all levels, Morocco is driven by a firm desire to initiate a global and fruitful dialogue in phase with the vision and spirit of ASEAN," he said in a speech.

He said this partnership has also produced concrete results, particularly in the areas of countering violent extremism, education, tourism, trade, investment and parliamentary cooperation.

Yazough also noted that Morocco's achievement of sectoral dialogue partner status with ASEAN crowns joint efforts and symbolizes the Kingdom's deep commitment to closer collaboration with this dynamic regional community, adding that this status will broaden the horizons of interactions between the two parties and provide a platform for sharing experiences, expertise and visions for a better future.

"The potential of the Morocco-ASEAN economic and trade partnership is far from being fully explored", said Yazough, calling for renewed impetus and content to build this exemplary partnership. (MAP)