Paris and Rabat reiterated their commitment to bolster their partnership, notably in the fields of security, sustainable development, culture and education, said the Royal Office in a statement.
The statement was issued following a meeting in the Elysée Palace Tuesday between French President François Hollande and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
During the meeting, the two heads of state hailed Moroccan-French partnership, which they deemed of strategic importance for both countries’ relations as well as for Euro-Mediterranean and African development, the statement said, adding that the two Heads of State expressed their confidence in the vitality of the exceptional partnership binding the two countries.
After the meeting, King Mohammed VI was guest to a luncheon hosted in his honor by President Hollande.
The luncheon was attended by cabinet members, friends of Morocco and France, intellectuals, artists, athletes, and civil society activists. The guest list reflects the strong and multifaceted ties between the two countries.
President Hollande congratulated King Mohammed VI on his kingdom’s return to the African Union and welcomed Morocco’s strong initiatives seeking to upgrade the African continent’s development.
King Mohammed VI, for his part, thanked the French president for his personal commitment to French-Moroccan friendship and reiterated Morocco’s willingness to promote the special ties between the two countries, the statement added.
The Tuesday meeting between President Hollande and the King of Morocco was also special, as it took place just few days after the UN Security Council adopted unanimously a resolution on the Sahara, extending the MINURSO mandate by one year. France was among the strongest supporters of the resolution at the Security Council, and on Tuesday, the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, Romain Nadal, said “France commends the unanimous adoption of the resolution”.
“The resolution confirms the return to full functionality of the mission, as underlined in the report of the United Nations Secretary-General, whose involvement on this issue was decisive,” he said.
Reiterating that France considers the autonomy plan submitted by Morocco in 2007 as “a serious and credible basis for a negotiated solution,” the spokesman said the adopted text underlines the importance of resuming without further delay the UN-sponsored political process with the aim of reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution.
The context of the meeting was also special because it marks the end of President Hollande’s tenure on May 7, date of the second round of the French presidential elections.
The showdown is between centrist Emmanuel Macron of En Marche Movement and Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party.
Yet, whatever the outcome of the French elections, relations between France and Morocco are so strong that they rise above political agendas and governmental alternations.