Morocco and Cuba continue to work on improving their bilateral relations

Both countries resumed diplomatic ties in 2017 after more than 30 years of rupture
Bandera de Marruecos

PHOTO/PIXABAY  -   Moroccan flag

The new ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Cuba, Hicham El Aloui, has presented his credentials to the island's deputy foreign minister, Elio Rodríguez Perdomo. During the meeting, both parties pointed out the importance of partnership in several areas of strategic development for the benefit of the two countries. Likewise, as reported by the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina, "both countries reinforce, with the appointment of the new representative to Havana, the interest in developing bilateral relations and cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields, among others"

Morocco and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations on 21 April 2017 with an agreement signed by Omar Hilale, Moroccan ambassador to the United Nations, and his Cuban counterpart, Anayansi Rodríguez, current deputy foreign minister. This treaty put an end to more than 30 years of discord between Rabat and Havana. In January 1980, Cuba and the Polisario Front established diplomatic ties, which led King Hassan II to suspend relations with Fidel Castro's regime, which supported the Sahrawi independence movement, in April of that year. Since then, Havana and the Polisario have maintained close cooperation in areas such as health and education, an aspect that has distanced the Caribbean island from the Alaouite Kingdom.

omar hilale marruecos onu
Omar Hilale, Moroccan Ambassador to the UN

However, in early April 2017, weeks before Hilale and Rodríguez signed their agreement at the UN, the first event that laid the foundations for rapprochement between the two nations took place. The monarch Mohammed VI paid a private visit to Cuba with his family, but this trip was not just a holiday. As Boughaleb el Attar, former Moroccan ambassador to Cuba, pointed out in an interview with Atalayar, this visit "has had a much greater historical importance than what has been written about it". With regard to the Saharawi question, the main disagreement between Morocco and Cuba, the former ambassador recalled that during the anniversary of the creation of the Saharawi "chimeric republic", Cuba published a communiqué addressed to the Polisario Front in which it only referred to UN resolutions, while clarifying that it would maintain its humanitarian aid to the refugee camps in Tindouf. The Cuban document makes no reference to the armed struggle proclaimed by the Polisario militias.

Since then, both Rabat and Havana have made efforts to strengthen ties, cooperating in fields such as mining, renewable energies, the environment and scientific research. The two national news agencies, MAP and Prensa Latina, have also signed an agreement in which they undertake to cooperate in the exchange of news, photographs and audiovisual documents. It should also be noted that Morocco offered its support for the resolution presented to the UN General Assembly calling for the lifting of the economic and financial embargo imposed on Cuba. The Cuban authorities have also expressed their desire to embark on a new stage based on cordial relations, dialogue and partnership

PHOTO/PIXABAY - Moroccan flag

Mohammed VI, on the occasion of the Day of the Triumph of the Revolution, which is celebrated on 1 January in Cuba, expressed his sincere wishes for greater progress and prosperity for the Cuban people in a message addressed to the island's President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. The King also expressed his satisfaction with the current dynamic that marks relations between the two countries, highlighting "fruitful cooperation in various fields".