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Partner in North Africa – meeting between Foreign Minister Maas and Moroccan Foreign Minister Bourita  Morocco

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita at their joint press conference

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita at their joint press conference, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

29.11.2018 - Article

At their meeting in Berlin on 29 November, Heiko Maas and Nasser Bourita discussed the important topic of migration and the United Nations’ political process on Western Sahara.

During their bilateral talks and the joint press conference held after the talks, both Foreign Ministers underlined their interest in further intensifying the constructive political relations between Germany and Morocco in the future. In addition to the topic of working closely together on migration, the focus was on political and economic reforms in Morocco and on development cooperation. Foreign Minister Maas welcomed the progress made by the Moroccan Government in modernising the country, but also called for civil-society stakeholders to be granted freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

The priorities of German Moroccan development cooperation are sustainable development, renewable energies and water supply. During the German-Moroccan intergovernmental negotiations in October, the German Government pledged 151.7 million euros in support to Morocco.

Working together on migration

With support from Germany and other countries, Morocco is endeavouring to implement a migration and asylum policy that meets international standards. The country is also an important and reliable partner as regards achieving the aim of globally regulated migration. Since 2017, Morocco and Germany have co-chaired the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which will meet in Marrakech at the beginning of December. After this meeting, Morocco will host the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on 10 and 11 December.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcoming Horst Köhler, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, to the Federal Foreign Office
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcoming Horst Köhler, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, to the Federal Foreign Office© Felix Zahn

Political process on Western Sahara

The United Nations’ political process on Western Sahara was another important topic on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Germany expressly supports the work of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara (PESG), former Federal President Horst Köhler. Thanks to his great commitment and hard work, PESG Köhler has managed to lend new momentum to the political process and to organise direct talks on the future of Western Sahara.

At the joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart, Foreign Minister Maas called on all participants to demonstrate openness and a willingness to compromise in their approach to the talks. During a meeting with former Federal President Horst Köhler which also took place on 29 November, Foreign Minister Maas expressed his great appreciation for PESG Köhler’s work and assured him that the German Government would do its utmost to continue supporting the political process.

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