Morocco is strengthening its cooperation with Latin America with its entry as an observer to the Andean Community of Nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad announced in a press release. The kingdom obtained this status during the 20th meeting of the Andean Presidential Council held this Wednesday in Bogota. Morocco is the first Arab and African country to achieve this status.
This new position will strengthen its position as a privileged interlocutor in the Latin American region and enshrines its positioning as a credible partner in an international context characterized by economic interdependence and cultural interaction. This accession will reinforce the process of rapprochement between Morocco and the countries of Latin America, within the framework of the strengthening of the policy of opening up to the world promoted by King Mohammed VI, recalling that the country has observer status in nine regional organisations: four parliamentary (Parlacen, Foprel, Parlandino, Parlatino), four political (SICA, OAS, SEGIB, ACS) and the economically dominant Pacific Alliance.
Morocco's attachment to the Andean region, which has its roots in the common historical and cultural heritage and linguistic influence, is also a recognition of the reforms undertaken by Mohammed VI to build a modern and democratic Morocco. The Andean Community of Nations (CAN), founded in 1997, is a regional grouping whose member countries are Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, which represent about 23 per cent of the surface area and population of the Latin American subcontinent.
The arrival of Mohammed VI on the throne in 1999 marked a turning point for Morocco. The rule of law is gradually being consolidated and the country's monarchy is evolving towards a parliamentary model. The Government of Morocco is immersed in a dynamic of reforms, but this will of change clashes at times with "a very conservative society", which needs some "pedagogy", according to the Minister of Justice, Mohamed Auijar, in declarations to the Efe agency. The minister considers that the monarch is the first to want to make the country "a parliamentary, democratic and social monarchy", a "historic challenge" for which society must be prepared.
"Morocco is committed and wants to be part of the new world, but taking into account the social fabric," the minister repeats at several points during the interview, referring to issues such as the abolition of the death penalty or the decriminalisation of extra-marital sex, including homosexual relations. For us," says the minister, "the European Union is the system of values that we share, and we are preparing society for it (but) it is a society that is very attached to certain traditions, which is in a region (Arab) crossed by fundamentalism and obscurantism.