UK-Morocco ties go from strength to strength with new bilateral commitments

Foreign ministers discuss promoting cultural links during meeting in London

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita met in London. Photo: Maroc Diplomatie / Twitter

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita met in London on Wednesday for the third session in the UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.

Reaffirming their countries’ shared visions for bilateral partnership, the ministers discussed ways to strengthen political dialogue and economic ties, as well as co-operating on security matters and the promotion of cultural links.

As well as adopting a joint UK-Morocco political declaration, Ms Truss and Mr Bourita agreed to set up a council and association committee forming two core bodies of the Association Agreement that was signed in 2019 to strengthen economic and political relations between the two kingdoms.

They also established a sub-committee focused on trade, investment, agriculture and fisheries, and pledged to continue their co-ordination in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

A fish farm off the coast of the Moroccan town of M'diq. The UK and Morocco have established a sub-committee focused on trade, investment, agriculture and fisheries. AFP

The ministers took the opportunity to reflect on the long-standing relationship between their countries, with this year marking 300 years since the first trade treaty was signed between them.

The Anglo-Moroccan treaty of 1721 set out a legal framework for trade and navigation between the two kingdoms, making the UK the largest trade partner of the North African country at the time. The treaty is seen as the foundation for renewed bilateral relations.

Earlier this year, Morocco launched a food and drink export campaign in the UK as part of its drive to attract British businesses to its products. The push comes with the opening of a new direct shipping route between Tangier in Morocco and Poole in the UK, designed to cut journey times from more than six days by road to less than three.

The route was established to help bypass post-Brexit traffic congestion and additional import procedures on goods arriving via Europe.

Updated: December 9th 2021, 11:41 AM