Morocco: Speech of HM the King During the Official Dinner Offered By Ivorian Head of State in Honor of the Sovereign

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Abidjan — HM King Mohammed VI gave a speech at the official dinner offered, Tuesday evening in Abidjan, by Ivorian head of State, Alassane Ouattara, in honor of His Majesty who is on an official visit to Côte d'Ivoire, the second leg of his African tour.

Here is the full text of the speech:

"Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Mr. President,

Distinguished Heads of the Republic's Institutions,

Mr. Prime Minister,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be with you in the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, a great nation for which all Moroccans nurture deep affection, fraternity and esteem.

The warm hospitality extended to us by you, Mr. President, your Government and your people, is the best illustration of the depth of the bonds which unite our countries, as well as the unique nature of our relations.

Mr. President,

My current visit to Cote d'Ivoire, the first of its kind, is of an outstanding significance to me, as it seals the renewal of our ties while, at the same time, sanctioning the shaping of a project for a shared future.

Indeed, it seals the renewed convergence of two brotherly peoples who are proud of the historic, unique, exemplary relationship they have built, since gaining their independence, on the bedrock of friendship and mutual trust. The outstanding architects of these solid foundations were our forefathers, my grandfather the late King Mohammed V, my father the late King Hassan II, and the late President Felix Houphouët-Boigny. May they rest in peace.

This visit seals the renewal of our ties, because Cote d'Ivoire is definitively turning the dark page of the last decade, which was marked by the sufferings and tragedies of armed violence.

Throughout this testing period, Morocco constantly displayed its unfailing support for Cote d'Ivoire in those troubled times. It strongly supported the efforts which were made to bring a long-stalled democratic transition process to a conclusive end, as called for by the people of Cote d'Ivoire and in accordance with international legality.

Morocco's contribution to ONUCI since 2004 and the work of its contingent, are significant examples of this involvement.

Mr. President

Since your rightful, acknowledged election to the supreme office, you have been assuming, with courage and determination, the historic mission for the recovery of your great nation.

This mission involves three essential requirements which you have defined, namely :

- to restore security over the entire territory of Cote d'Ivoire, and rebuild the national army;

- to achieve the delicate, yet necessary, objective of bringing about national reconciliation and getting political life back to normal; and

- to boost the economy within the scope of Cote d'Ivoire's know-how and potentialities.

To address all these issues, your country may rely on the Kingdom of Morocco, a longstanding partner who is true to its commitments and always ready to stand by Cote d'Ivoire.

This is why I regard this visit as the endorsement of a project in the making for the future of our two nations.

Indeed, it is up to us today to maintain and cement the indissoluble bonds which unite us, in order to give of the Morocco-Cote d'Ivoire fraternity the brightest, most tangible illustration.

We have a duty to deepen our cooperation and upgrade it on renewed foundations, in order to tackle the challenges ahead and turn our partnership into real opportunities for trade, growth and progress for the benefit or our two countries.

In this respect, the involvement of the Business Community is a determining factor for growth and employment, and for the reinforcement of our partnership.

I note with satisfaction that since 2011 Moroccan companies and groups have been setting up business and investing in your country, which, under your guidance, is back on the path to sustainable growth. Thus, several partnerships have been built in the banking sector, projects have been initiated in the fields of housing and cement manufacturing, and Moroccan financing is being provided for the implementation of various infrastructure projects.

I am confident that, thanks to our joint determination, the momentum will be kept up for the years ahead.

We have also decided to devote special attention to the human dimension, which is the cornerstone of cooperation between Morocco and African sister nations.

Several other areas of cooperation can be reinforced, and new fields explored with a view to consolidating the foundations for a partnership that is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development.

Mr. President

I note with deep satisfaction your commendable, unflinching endeavors to foster peace in West Africa. The recent renewal of your mandate at the head of ECOWAS is a well-deserved tribute to the conclusive results which open up the prospect for an end to the crisis in the sister nation Mali.

As I pointed out last month in my message to the Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS, who convened under your chairmanship at Yamoussoukro, the Maghreb States, countries in West African, the Sahel and those bordering the Atlantic form a large zone combining powerful interdependent characteristics and real complementarities.

This is why the Kingdom of Morocco is seeking to significantly enhance its institutional cooperation and dialogue with West Africa.

This is the reason why I should also like to work with you to bolster our positive political consultations on fundamental issues pertaining to collective security and stability in our two African sub-regions, where our strategic interests are inseparable.

I should like to conclude by reiterating Morocco's firm determination to build, together with the sister nation Cote d'Ivoire, a fruitful and prosperous model which embodies South-South cooperation in Africa, for the progress and well-being of our peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I ask you to rise to pay tribute to President Alassane Ouattara, to fraternity and solidarity between Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire, and to progress for our two brotherly peoples.

Wassalamou alaïkoum wa rahmatoullahi wa barakatouh."

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