Foreign Office Ministers Alistair Burt and Henry Bellingham met Moroccan Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs Youssef Amrani on 16 April.
Following the meeting, Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said:
“I was delighted to welcome Mr Amrani to London. The UK and Morocco have a strong relationship, and work closely together on a range of shared priorities.
“We discussed the ongoing political reforms in Morocco, which the UK strongly supports. Through the UK’s Arab Partnership Programme we are supporting the Moroccan Government’s commitment to fight corruption and promote political participation, particularly for civil society, youth, and the media.
“We also discussed the situation in the region. I encouraged Morocco to continue to play a leading role in efforts to revive the Arab Maghreb Union, which I believe is vital for ensuring the long-term security and prosperity of all countries of the Maghreb. We discussed recent events in Syria, which remains of great concern to both our governments. We will continue to work closely together in the UN and to offer our full support to Kofi Annan’s efforts to find a resolution.
“On Western Sahara, I assured Mr Amrani that the UK remains engaged on human rights, and will continue to support the political negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross.”
Mr Amrani and Minister for Africa and the UN Henry Bellingham discussed security in the Sahel and Morocco’s role as a major peace-keeping troop contributing country. Following the meeting the Minister for Africa said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet Mr Amrani while he was in London. We discussed the recent instability in Mali and I shared the UK’s concern about it spreading to the wider West Africa region. The meeting was a welcome opportunity to gain Morocco’s insight on the crisis, and to discuss the role of regional and international bodies to address instability in Mali and the wider Sahel. We also discussed Morocco’s bilateral activities in the region.”