Morocco and Saudi Arabia strengthen ties with visit of Aziz Akhannouch

In a letter, King Mohammed VI showed his respects to the Saudi crown prince and his willingness to continue cooperating with him

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   The head of the Moroccan government, Aziz Ajanouch

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Aziz Akhannouch delivered a message written by the Moroccan King, Mohammed VI, to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. After receiving the letter during his reception in Riyadh, bin Salman conveyed his cordial greetings to the Moroccan king, thus highlighting the good relationship between the two kingdoms.

The meeting, which was also attended by the Minister of Energy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, reviewed Morocco's main initiatives aimed at preserving the environment and combating climate change.

PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD/CORTESÍA DE LA CORTE REAL SAUDÍ -  File photo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces the construction of a zero-carbon city called "The Line" in NEOM, northwestern Saudi Arabia, 10 January 2021.

The visit comes on the occasion of the meeting held last Monday in the framework of the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Forum. Akhannouch, accompanied by the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mustafa Al-Mansour, met with regional leaders to discuss issues related to reducing the impact of human beings on the environment.

In this plan, the Alawi kingdom has reiterated its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint with new economic plans that seek to diversify Morocco's economy away from reliance on non-renewable energy, key sectors in the country's economy but which maintain significant negative effects on the ecosystem.

PHOTO/AP  - Aerial view of Morocco's Noor 3 solar power plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco.

Among the measures adopted by Morocco to alleviate this scourge, the kingdom aims to meet 52% of its energy needs by 2030, an objective that it is getting closer and closer to achieving. In this respect, the "Green Future" report published by the MIT Technology Review magazine placed Morocco at the forefront in the use of renewable energies in the entire MENA region.

Morocco has also eliminated diesel, petrol and oil subsidies to promote energy efficiency in an attempt to accelerate the transition to a greener economy. The plan has also identified Morocco's ocean as a natural resource on the same level as the earth's soil resource, thus promoting sustainable aquaculture.

PHOTO/PRENSA SAUDI -  File photo, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita (R) and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud at a joint press conference after their meeting on 29 July 2020.

Moreover, the meeting with Saudi Arabia comes at a time when relations between the two kingdoms are at their most favourable. A few days ago, at the UN headquarters, the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Abdullah al-Mouallimi, reiterated his support for Morocco on the Western Sahara issue. In his remarks he stressed that the Saudi kingdom would reject "any prejudice to the higher interests or to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco". This important scenario strengthens relations that are growing closer diplomatically, economically and politically.