Singapore backs Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara

The Singaporean Foreign Minister reiterated his country's support for Morocco's application to become "an ASEAN sectoral dialogue partner"
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TWITTER/MAROC DIPLOMATIE  -   Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan.

During an official visit of Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to Morocco, the diplomat expressed his country's support for Rabat's proposal for the Sahara. "Singapore supports Morocco's serious and credible efforts under its autonomy plan to resolve the Sahara dispute and to ensure peace and security in the region," said Balakrishnan.

The Singaporean minister also recalled that his country respects the UN resolutions on the Sahara and praises the efforts of the personal envoy, Staffan de Mistura. In this regard, Balakrishnan called on all parties involved in the conflict to work for the preservation of peace with complete transparency in order to put an end to the long-running dispute, reports Al-Ain. 

"Morocco is a country of coexistence that promotes values of peace, tolerance and coexistence. Morocco is a role model in building the foundations of inter-religious dialogue around the world," added the Singaporean diplomat, who later handed his Moroccan counterpart a letter from President Halimah Yacob formally inviting King Mohammed VI to the Asian country.

The Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, said that Balakrishnan's visit was part of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Singapore. The trip is also the first by a Singaporean foreign minister to Morocco.

"There is a desire to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in areas such as agriculture, tourism and investment," Bourita said. The Moroccan diplomacy chief also relayed that they are considering setting up a Moroccan-Singaporean investment forum before the end of the year. Both countries, according to Bourita, share the same economic vision and "encourage investment and entrepreneurship".

In addition to addressing the partnership in these sectors, the two ministers discussed security, sustainable development and education. "We (Morocco and Singapore) are convinced that issues such as terrorism, climate change and migration cannot be solved individually, but require cooperation, joint action and coordination between countries," explained the Moroccan minister. 

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TWITTER/MAROC DIPLOMATIE - Bourita and Balakrishnan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on climate change

At the end of the visit, Bourita and Balakrishnan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on climate change. On the other hand, the Ambassador of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, Mohamed Methqal, and the Ambassador of Singapore to Morocco, George Goh, signed a letter of intent for bilateral partnership.

"Singapore and Morocco are also working together to provide technical assistance to Africa and will jointly organise a pilot programme on leadership and governance in October 2022," a statement from Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The note also highlights that Balakrishnan "welcomed Morocco's interest in strengthening its engagement with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and reiterated Singapore's support for Morocco's application to become an ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner"

The Singaporean minister also met with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ryad Mezzour; the Minister of Digital Transition, Ghita Mezzour; the President of the National Museums Foundation, Mehdi Qotbi; and several business leaders.