Dakhla — At the continental level, the most outstanding event of this year is Morocco's historic return to the African Union (AU), an irreversible choice on the path to solidarity, peace and unity between African peoples, said HM King Mohammed VI.
"At the continental level, the most outstanding event of this year is Morocco's historic return to its natural and legitimate place within the African Union, as an irreversible choice on the path to solidarity, peace and unity between African peoples," the Sovereign said in a message addressed to the participants in the 2017 edition of the Crans Montana Forum, which kicked off on Friday in Dakhla.
"Loyal to its commitment, Morocco will be at the forefront of states which will contribute, with determination and force, to serving the continent's interests and consolidating its peoples' unity and cohesion. Morocco will not, however, give up defending its lofty interests, particularly its national unity and territorial integrity," the Sovereign underlined.
HM the King also noted that "at the regional level, I should mention Morocco's request to join the Economic Community of West-African States, with whom we share time-honored human, civilizational and spiritual bonds, as well as special relations based on fruitful cooperation and active solidarity."
In this regard, the project of a gas pipeline between Nigeria and Morocco is an example of regional cooperation that will benefit eleven African countries, the Sovereign stressed, noting that this structural project will not only transport gas between two sister nations, but will also serve as a major source of energy for all countries in the region, and will help promote the region's economic competiveness and act as a catalyst for its industrial development.
Furthermore, HM the king went on, it will enable us to organize the energy market efficiently and will have a major impact on regional integration and complementarity.
Since last year's session of the forum, Morocco has been keen to take concrete steps to implement its approach towards sister nations, which is aimed at strengthening cooperation at the bilateral, regional and continental levels simultaneously, said the Sovereign.
At the bilateral level, HM the King recalled the different tours paid to all parts of Africa, noting that the visits helped "open up promising new prospects for relations with countries with whom we used to have weak ties or no ties at all, in order to serve our peoples' shared interests."
At the continental level and on the sidelines of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakesh, the Sovereign said that He called for the convening of an "Africa Action Summit" to address the climate challenges Africa is facing, in order to achieve the sustainable development that will allow us to protect our natural resources.
"As part of the mandate entrusted to me by the Summit, I have been closely involved in all practical initiatives which can form the basis for our joint action in this regard, namely the ad-hoc committees' ambitious regional projects aimed at developing the Sahel region, particularly Lake Chad and the Congo River Basin, as well as at preserving the special features of insular states. I have also been involved in the constructive initiatives related to strategic sectoral issues, such as food security in Africa and energy," HM the King said.
To meet the growing energy needs of the continent, the Sovereign said that "our countries must succeed in their energy transition and invest in renewable energies, given their huge potential in the areas of solar, wind and hydroelectric power."
This will help address the current shortage, boost development and promote peace and stability in Africa, the Sovereign stressed.
As far as the energy transition is concerned, Morocco is a model and has managed, in record time and without any fossil fuel sources, to make energy a pillar of South-South cooperation, namely with a number of African sister nations, HM the King said.