Tetouan — Morocco's commitment to defending Africa's causes and interests reflects a standard policy which Morocco has been proudly and confidently pursuing, said HM King Mohammed VI.
"Morocco's commitment to defending Africa's causes and interests is not new. It reflects a standard policy consistently carried out by my ancestors, and which I have been proudly and confidently pursuing," said the sovereign in a speech delivered to the Nation on Sunday on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.
The monarch stressed that "Morocco's commitment to - and interest in - Africa are by no means a coincidence; nor are they the result of transient considerations. They reflect a sense of loyalty to a shared history and illustrate our firm belief that ours is a common destiny."
"They are the result of profound, realistic reflection which is itself governed by a long-term, strategic vision and a gradual, consensual approach," HM the King explained.
"Our African policy is based on a thorough understanding of African realities, substantiated by more than fifty visits to over 29 countries - 14 of which I have visited since October 2016. That policy is also aimed at serving shared interests through solidarity-based, win-win partnerships," the sovereign recalled.
This tangible policy is best illustrated by the flagship development projects launched, like the Nigeria-Morocco Atlantic gas pipeline project, the construction of fertilizer plants in Ethiopia and Nigeria as well as human development projects designed to improve the living conditions of African citizens, such as the creation of healthcare facilities, vocational training institutions and fishermen's villages, His Majesty said.
The sovereign went on to say that as "a result of this successful policy, we have managed to strengthen our economic partnerships, ensure Morocco's return to the African Union and secure the agreement in principle to our request to join the Economic Commission of West African States."
Underlining that the Revolution of the King and the people is more than a national, epic event which brought together a valiant king and a resolute people, HM the King said that it is a bright chapter in the life of the nation. Its impact and influence reached far beyond the country's borders and deep into Africa.
Thanks to its spontaneous, popular character, and the values of sacrifice and loyalty underpinning it, it inspired liberation movements in the Maghreb and across Africa. It also increased awareness of the destiny Morocco shares with the rest of the African continent as reflected by the common struggle for freedom and independence and, later on, by the founding of independent African states committed to respecting state sovereignty as well as the countries' national unity and territorial integrity, the monarch underscored.
This solidarity-based endeavor is continuing today. The aim is to achieve the shared development and prosperity all African peoples are yearning for, HM the King said.
"Given the values underpinning that glorious revolution we are commemorating today, it is hardly a surprise that, ever since it gained independence, Morocco has adopted unwavering stances as well as concrete measures in favor of Africa," the monarch recalled, giving the examples of the participation in the first peacekeeping operation in the Congo in 1960, the hosting of the first meeting of the African development committee in Tangier in the same year, and the setting up, under the 1961 government, of the first Ministry of African Affairs, to back liberation movements.
These earnest efforts for the benefit of African peoples culminated in the 1961 Casablanca Conference, which laid the groundwork for the creation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, the sovereign affirmed.