11 June 2018

Nigeria: What Buhari Discussed With Morocco King - Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and King Mohammed VI of Morocco reached a number of agreements during the two-day visit to the North African country by the Nigerian leader.

Mr Buhari travelled to Morocco on Sunday on the invitation of Mr Mohammed.

According to the Nigerian presidency on Monday, the visit is the first by a Nigerian Head of State to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Details of the visit sent to PREMIUM TIMES by email stated that the visit has reinforced the positive bilateral relationship between Morocco and Nigeria since the earlier visit by the Moroccan king to Abuja in December 2016.

The statement said the two leaders affirmed their will to create a model of South-South cooperation.

"In this spirit, they welcomed the significant progress made in various areas of cooperation, such as agriculture, fertilizer production, energy infrastructure and mining.

"His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Buhari noted with satisfaction the milestones achieved and underscored their commitment to the Regional Gas Pipeline, which will connect Nigeria's gas resources, those of some West African countries and Morocco, thereby fostering integration and development of countries in the West African region.

"The two Heads of State also noted progress made in other areas of the bilateral cooperation, as evidenced by the agreement between OCP of Morocco and the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria to invest in fertiliser production; and the Memorandum of Understanding between OCP and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority on the establishment of a Basic Chemicals Platform, specifically to develop a significant Ammonia Production Plant," the statement noted

According to the statement, on the basis of their "exemplary cooperation," the two Heads of State agreed to develop a partnership in the field of agriculture, particularly through the signing of cooperation agreement on vocational training and technical supervision.

Morocco has been pushing to become a member of ECOWAS, a regional bloc made up of countries in West Africa. The bid has been facing stiff opposition by some West African countries, mostly on the grounds that Morocco is located in North Africa.

The king is however, determined and many view his invitation of the Nigerian leader, who is considered the most influential member of ECOWAS, was in his quest to convince and gain the support of Mr. Buhari.

The statement released by the President Monday said on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern, "His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Buhari confirmed their willingness to consult and coordinate the positions of the two countries in regional and international organisations, including the African Union".

It also said Mr. Buhari congratulated Mr Mohammed on Morocco's election to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. He also congratulated him on the successful completion of his mandate as African Leader on Migration Issues, which culminated in the presentation of the African Agenda for Migration and the creation of the African Observatory on Migration.

He also paid tribute to the personal commitment of the king to sustainable development in Africa.

On his part, Mr Mohammed congratulated Mr Buhari on his leadership in the regional initiative against terrorism in the Lake Chad region and commended his efforts in the fight against corruption and his role as the African Union anti-corruption champion.

"The two Heads of State, in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, underscored their commitment to moderation, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, as taught by Islam.

"They expressed deep concerns about violent extremism, terrorism and the persistence of security threats in Africa. They affirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in efforts to combat radicalization in Africa and beyond.

"At the end of the working visit, His Excellency President Buhari, on behalf of his delegation, expressed his deep appreciation for the warm reception and hospitality of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Government and the brotherly people of Morocco," the presidency said.


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