Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, affirmed on September 4, that relations between Morocco and Sierra Leone have witnessed “great progress” in the last years thanks to the Wise Directives of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
During a joint press briefing with his Sierra Leonean counterpart, Timothy Musa Kabba, Bourita highlighted the “positive” bilateral relations, which “have been developed significantly per the Directives of the Heads of State of the two countries.”
The Moroccan minister stated that the Kingdom “will open by the end of September an embassy in Sierra Leone,” adding that the Kingdom will dispatch a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture to support a large-scale food production project launched by President Julius Maada Bio.
In the field of training, the Moroccan minister announced an increase in the number of scholarships awarded to Sierra Leonean students in Morocco from 105 to 120.
Minister Bourita added that during the meeting with Minister Musa Kabba, it was agreed to establish a joint committee between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs to oversee the implementation of the thirteen agreements signed at the Joint Commission held last April in Dakhla, noting that a follow-up mechanism would also be set up, because implementation is more important than the signing of agreements, as always advocated by His Majesty the King.
The Moroccan official noted that this meeting with the Head of Sierra Leone’s Diplomacy was also an opportunity to express the Kingdom’s gratitude to Sierra Leone and its president for the country’s unwavering position on the Moroccan Sahara, which was reaffirmed during the meeting of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Bourita added that Sierra Leone’s position has always been in favor of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity and the autonomy plan as the only solution to this artificial dispute, as evidenced by Sierra Leone’s opening of a consulate general in Dakhla in 2021.
Bourita also stated that Sierra Leone’s position is highly welcomed and appreciated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the Moroccan people as a testimony to the strong ties between the two countries.
In a different context, the Moroccan foreign minister added that the two parties agreed to coordinate their positions on events in West Africa, and on Sierra Leone’s entry into the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member in January, affirming that there would be closer coordination on issues on the Security Council’s (SC) agenda, be they continental issues in general, regional issues concerning North Africa, or issues concerning the Arab world and the Mediterranean region.
Minister Bourira underlined that Morocco “will always work with Sierra Leone as a partner and ally on all these issues to become, as desired by His Majesty the King, a model of South-South cooperation between African countries, endowed with strong content and characterized by better coordination and a vision based on mutual interests and value.”
Minister Bourita also emphasized the importance of Minister Musa Kaaba’s visit to the Kingdom, which follows the successful elections in Sierra Leone and the re-election of President Julius Maada Bio for a second term.
In this regard, the Moroccan official said that this new mandate is proof that the achievements of the Sierra Leonean president during his first mandate have restored stability to the country and achieved positive results in terms of economic and social development for the people of Sierra Leone, stressing that the Kingdom commends H.E. Maada Bio’s clear vision, which opens up promising prospects for Sierra Leone as a pole of stability and development in West Africa
Bourita stated that this visit is the first of its kind by Minister Musa Kabba abroad as head of his country’s diplomacy, underlining that this visit is especially significant and translates the High Directives of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the President of Sierra Leone on the development of relations between the two countries.
The Moroccan minister also added that Musa Kabba’s visit to the Kingdom precedes by just a few months the start of Sierra Leone’s term in the Security Council (SC) (January 2024), noting that the meeting was also an opportunity to congratulate once again the African country on its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the years 2024-2025.
Bourita stated that Sierra Leone’s success and occupancy of a seat in the Security Council (SC) is proof of the international community’s confidence in the insight and wisdom of this country’s diplomacy, and the vision of its Head of State.
The Moroccan foreign minister also affirmed that His Majesty the King’s High Directives had been from the outset to support and accompany Sierra Leone’s candidacy, adding that the Sovereign was pleased with the great success achieved by this brotherly country in the elections to win a seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council (SC).
The meeting was attended by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Morocco, H.E. Atumannu Dainkeh, and the Consul General in Dakhla, Zainab Kande.