Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid strengthened bilateral ties between Maldives and Morocco during the first-ever official visit to the latter by a Maldivian foreign minister.
A total of four agreements were signed between the two countries during the visit, including an agreement for Islamic Cooperation and the exemption of a visa requirement for their respective nationals of both countries.
The other two were MoU's signed on cooperation between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, and between the Foreign Service Institute of the Republic of Maldives and the Foreign Service Academy of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco.
During the five-day visit, Minister Shahid met with various top officials of the Moroccan government including Prime Minister Dr Saad Eddine El-Othmani, Minister of Endowment and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, Council President of Casablanca region and the chairman of MASEN Mustapha Bakkoury and President of the House of Representatives of Morocco H.E. Habib El Malki.
Minister Shahid and Prime Minister El-Othmani discussed various matters of mutual interest, including the importance of people to people contact between the two countries and cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, heritage, counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, higher education and environment.
The discussions took place during a courtesy call paid by Minister Shahid on the Moroccan Prime Minister at his office in Rabat, where the Minister conveyed greetings and well wishes to the Prime Minister and Moroccan people on behalf of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In addition, the Foreign Minister sat down with the Minister of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco to discuss means of cooperation and coordination on the revival of the Islamic patrimony and on the prospect of training Maldivian Imams at Moroccan Institutes. Minister Shahid further applauded Morocco’s effort to raise awareness and promote a tolerant and balanced form of Islam.
Highlighting the historical links and common religious heritage shared between both Maldives and Morocco, Minister Shahid referred to the Moroccan, Abu al-Barakat Yusuf al-Barbari, who played a key role in the conversion of Maldivians to Islam in the 12th century.
Minister Shahid also met with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and delivered a letter from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, addressed to the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI.
The two ministers held discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, reiterating the commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Later, at the Council Office of Casablanca, Minister Shahid met with the Council President of Casablanca region and the Chairman of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) Mustapha Bakkoury.
During this meeting, the two stressed the importance of working together in addressing the common challenges such as sustainable use of resources and climate change adaptation.
The Foreign Minister expressed appreciation for Morocco’s active engagement in combating climate change globally and commended the ambitious initiatives launched by King Mohammed VI to foster Morocco’s standing as a renewable energy leader and hub in Africa, by aiming to generate 52% of the country’s electricity needs by 2030 from solar energy.
Further discussions included ways to enhance and exchange technical expertise between the Maldives and Morocco in the renewable energy sector.
Minister Shahid visited the third largest mosque in the world, Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, as well as the Mausoleum of Mohammed V during his time in Rabat. He paid his respects to the late Moroccan King in this visit.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Ambassador of Maldives to UAE Dr Hussain Niyaaz, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Shiaan and Assistant Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Moomina Ibrahim accompanied the Foreign Minister on the official visit.