Morocco and UK hold 'strategic talks' on boosting trade and security ties

Morocco and UK hold 'strategic talks' on boosting trade and security ties
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita met in London on Wednesday for the third session in the UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.
2 min read
09 December, 2021
Morocco Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita held talks in London this week [Getty]

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in London on Wednesday for the third session of the UK-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.

"[They] reaffirmed their vision of a Strategic Partnership to deepen their economic and security relations, strengthen their cultural ties, support each other's ambitious contributions to tackling climate change and help each other build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic," a joint communique from the UK Foreign Office read.

The ministers also inaugurated the UK-Morocco Association Council, "a platform from which to deepen [the] strategic partnership" which is currently worth £1.7 billion a year in bilateral trade.

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The two countries would also work on cyber security, according to the communique.

"Both countries looked forward with anticipation to the opening of a new Cyber Security Centre of Excellence for Africa in Morocco, brought about by a partnership of UK and Moroccan joint venture companies and Universities," the report read.

The UK also reaffirmed its commitment to assist parties "to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara, based on compromise, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations".

Earlier this year, a new direct shipping route between Tangier, Morocco and Poole, UK was launched to facilitate post-Brexit trade between the two countries, cutting journey times from approximately six days by road to less than three. 

A statement by the British embassy in Morocco praised the talks which it said “warmly recalled the history of their friendly and mutually beneficial relationship”. This year, Morocco and the UK celebrated the 300th anniversary of their first commercial treaty signed in 1721. Today, the UK is home to more 34,000 Moroccans or people of Moroccan-heritage, according to estimates by the ONS in 2015.