Morocco is committed to supporting Cambodia as chair of ASEAN this year and will stand as a gateway between the bloc and the African Middle East region.
The pledge was made during a meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita via video conference on January 26.
According to the foreign ministry’s press release issued after the meeting, the two ministers had exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interests.
They agreed to further strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in several areas, including trade and investment, tourism and human resource development and agreed to organise a third round of political consultations between the two countries via video conference in the first semester of 2022.
Bourita said he supported the Kingdom’s chairmanship of ASEAN, and supported Cambodia as a candidate for observer membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – an international organisation founded in 1969 with 57 member states. Bourita added that Morocco would convince other member countries to support Cambodia’s candidature.
The commitment came after Sokhonn informed the Moroccan minister of Cambodia’s goals as ASEAN chair in responding to the strategic challenges facing the region. Among them, effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic and an inclusive recovery process, managing existing traditional and non-traditional issues and strengthening ASEAN cohesiveness, centrality and resilience were priorities, he said.
Both ministers also agreed to speed up negotiations on a pending agreement on air services between the two countries and would consider signing a memorandum of understanding to boost the sector.
Bourita also invited Sokhonn to pay an official visit to Morocco this year to enhance friendly bilateral relations.
Sokhonn accepted the invitation and, due to his busy ASEAN schedule, would visit Morocco at a time convenient to both sides.