Mon, 30 Nov 2020

New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday held a virtual meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and the two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and global issues including the UN reforms, international fight against terrorism and climate change.

A Ministry of External Affairs release said that Bourita congratulated India on its election to the non-permanent seat of the UNSC and also conveyed the Moroccan Government's support for India's permanent membership in an extended United Nations Security Council.

"The two ministers had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and global issues, including the UN reforms, international fight against terrorism, climate change, renewable energy and cooperation under the India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) mechanism," the release said.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the ongoing close coordination between the two countries at various international organizations, including the United Nations.

The ministers agreed that both sides should expedite the finalisation of the MOU on defence cooperation and the cultural exchange programme so that these can be signed on an early date.

They discussed the respective national approaches to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

Jaishankar thanked Bourita for the Moroccan Government's support for the repatriation of Indian nationals stranded in Morocco due to the suspension of international flights in the wake of the pandemic.

Bourita, who is also Minister for African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, conveyed his government's appreciation for India's facilitation of commercial exports of medicines during this critical time.

"Positively assessing the growth in trade and investment relations, the Ministers noted, in particular, the close cooperation in fertilizers, textiles, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and ICT sectors," the release said.

The release said both sides agreed that bilateral relations have acquired considerable depth and vitality following the landmark visit of King of Morocco Mohammed VI in October 2015 for the third India-Africa Forum Summit.

"Exchange of 23 ministerial visits and conclusion of over 40 MoUs and agreements in a range of sectors such as IT, education, culture, agriculture, mutual legal assistance, extradition since then are a testament to the strong desire on the part of both sides to take bilateral ties to a higher plane," the release said.

The ministers agreed that the agreements and MoUs concluded in the last two years in the fields of cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and space provide strong frameworks for building the foundation of a strong and comprehensive relationship.

Responding to Moroccan minister's briefing on the developments in Libya, including at the recent intra-Libyan dialogue in Bouznika, Jaishankar commended Morocco's resolute and constructive engagement with all the Libyan parties since the beginning of the crisis and its contribution to the UN efforts aimed at finding a peaceful resolution through a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process.

The minister expressed India's support to the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General aimed at achieving a realistic, lasting, mutually negotiated and acceptable political solution to the Sahara issue and noted the efforts of the Kingdom of Morocco in this direction.

He reiterated his invitation to the Moroccan minister to visit India when the situation permits, which was accepted. (ANI)

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