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[Bridge to Africa] Morocco urges Korea to enhance cooperation in Atlantic coast vision

Korea's expertise in innovation, commitments to global stability to make Moroccan initiative successful, FM says

June 4, 2024 - 15:25 By Sanjay Kumar
Morocco’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita(left), and South Korean Minister of Trade Cheong In-kyo hold talks at Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on Sunday. (Embassy of Morocco in Seoul)

Morocco’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, called on South Korea to enhance cooperation with the country’s Atlantic coast vision, which aims to connect its coastline to the Americas.

"Today, the focus of the African continent has shifted towards developing and enhancing the Atlantic coast,” said Bourita in an interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul on Monday.

“We must strive to reach landlocked African nations that also need these benefits," he said, noting the efforts of Moroccan King Mohammed VI's in promoting access to the Atlantic Ocean for Sahel countries including Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

The Sahel, an Arabic term meaning "shore," refers to the semi-arid region in North-Central Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Savanna.

The initiative aims to make Morocco’s roads, ports and railways available to these landlocked states, Bourita said, highlighting the African Atlantic States Process (AASP) and the Morocco-Nigeria Atlantic Gas Pipeline project as key initiatives.

The African Atlantic States Process (AASP) was initiated by Morocco in 2009 to make the Atlantic African space a zone of peace, stability and shared prosperity, according to the Moroccan government.

Morocco’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, and South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul hold talks in Seoul on Sunday. (Embassy of Morocco in Seoul)

"The gas pipeline, which runs 5,600 km across 11 countries, constitutes a real lever for regional integration," Bourita noted.

"Korea can bring its innovative expertise to these initiatives, ensuring full success for all parties," he said.

According to the minister, the pillar of Korea-Africa cooperation is setting up innovative co-development processes in Africa.

"Korea is a reliable partner for Morocco in East Asia, while Morocco serves as a gateway to Africa for Korean companies," he said.

"Our partnership could channel an ambitious agenda for African partners through tripartite cooperation."

The minister visited Seoul and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yul to strengthen bilateral relations further and discuss tripartite cooperation.

"We signed three agreements in Climate Change, Social Security and cooperation with the Economic Development Cooperation Fund," Bourita said.

"Our countries represent gateways for each other in their respective regions," he added.

Concluding the interview, Bourita congratulated South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and the Korean government for preparing the first Korea-Africa Summit.

"Morocco shares the summit's objective of moving toward a new era of co-prosperity," he said, quoting King Mohammed VI's comment that Africa has reached its moment for further development.

"Korea's mandate in the Security Council testifies to its commitment to global stability. Together, we work within the UN framework to combat terrorism and contribute to peacekeeping operations," he added.