UN: Human Rights Violations in Tindouf Camps Condemned in New York

United Nations (New York) - The blatant human rights violations in Tindouf camps, south-west Algeria, were strongly denounced at the regular session of the UN Committee of 24 (C24), held on June 11-21 in New York. 'Tindouf camps have become a brutal symbol of human suffering, where abuse, repression, extreme poverty and malnutrition are the norm rather than the exception,' said Khadija Ezaoui, a native of LaSyoune. She noted that the humanitarian aid intended for the sequestered population in these camps is diverted to be sold on the markets of neighboring countries rather than being channeled to those who need it most, adding that the leaders of the "polisario" armed separatist movement engage in the systematic embezzlment of this aid with the active complicity of Algeria. She cited the latest revelations from the World Food Programme (WFP) in its January 2023 report entitled "Summary report on the evaluation of the provisional strategic plan for Algeria (2019-2022)" and the 2015 report from the European Anti-Fraud Office. "The evidence provided by the WFP leaves no room for doubt, clearly establishing the embezzlment of essential foodstuffs, including cookies intended for children as part of humanitarian aid", she denounced, adding that these foodstuffs are sold on local markets in Tindouf, outside the camps and in neighboring countries. Ezaoui pointed out that the WFP had highlighted the obstruction of the access of UN specialized agencies to Tindouf camps and the bias inherent in the distribution of humanitarian aid orchestrated by the armed group "polisario". 'This shocking situation is due to the fact that Algeria did not allow the UNHCR to register the population held hostage in Tindouf camps, in accordance with its mandate and the resolutions of the UN Security Council," she reported, noting that the sequestered population of these camps continue to live in a "zone of total anarchy", marked by multiple human rights violations, at a time when Algeria has delegated its authority over the camps to the "polisario". On this matter, she pointed out that the UN Human Rights Committee had repeatedly expressed its serious concerns about this illegal delegation of powers, adding that these same concerns had been echoed by the UN Secretary-General in his report to the Security Council. Ezaoui also condemned the abuses and exactions endured by the population sequestered in the Tindouf camps when they claim their legitimate rights, adding that cases of slavery have been denounced by several NGOs and media outlets. 'When the sequestered population dare to raise their voices against the exactions perpetrated by Algeria and the +polisario+, their legitimate demands are met with brutality and repression,' she said, citing the recent case of three individuals who were victims of arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of the "polisario". She also pointed out that the same fate applies to women who are subjected to various forms of violence by Algeria and its "polisario" puppet, stressing that this situation call s for an immediate international response. She called on the international community "to act swiftly and decisively to put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe, and to hold Algeria to account for its refusal to respond to the urgent and forceful calls of Security Council resolutions to register the population held hostage in Tindouf camps.' To her, the only solution to this disastrous situation is the safe and dignified return of the population sequestered in Tindouf camps, through the implementation of the Moroccan autonomy plan. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

Lower House Speaker Holds Talks with Spanish Ambassador to Morocco

Rabat - Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, held talks, here Wednesday, with Spanish Ambassador to Morocco, Enrique Ojeda Villa, to discuss several issues of common interest. During this meeting, the two sides expressed their pride in the depth of the solid long-standing relations uniting the two countries, under the leadership of the Sovereigns of the two Kingdoms, His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Majesty King Felipe VI, says a press release from the House of Representatives. They also highlighted the high level of parliamentary cooperation between the legislative institutions of the two countries, adds the press release. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

UN: Bahiya Ghella Points Up Moroccan Sahara’s Social, Economic Momentum

United Nations (New York) - The elected member from the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Ghalla Bahiya, highlighted in New York the momentum that the southern provinces of Morocco are experiencing economically and socially, thanks to the new development model launched by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in 2015. Speaking at the annual session of the United Nations C-24 committee, which is taking place from June 11 to 21, Bahiya emphasized that this innovative development model is part of the Kingdom's firm commitment to ensuring that all citizens enjoy the fullness of their rights and freedoms and to developing a cohesive society where everyone benefits from security, freedom, equal opportunities, respect for their dignity, and social justice. Within the framework of this model, which takes into account the region's specificities and the aspirations of local populations, major investment projects have been launched, focusing on infrastructure (roads, ports, and airports), healthcare, education, industry, agriculture , renewable energies, tourism, mining, fishing, and social sectors. The elected official from the Moroccan Sahara also indicated that the new development model for the southern provinces, with a budget of nearly $10 billion, has achieved over 80% of its socio-economic and structural projects, adding that this initiative aims to create more than 120,000 jobs and double the local GDP. She further stated that the two regions of the southern provinces achieved a growth rate over 50% higher than the national average, namely 10.9% for the Laayoune region and 10.5% for the Dakhla region. Moreover, the elected representative of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region indicated that the Moroccan Sahara is now known for its unprecedented economic and social empowerment and as a regional economic hub. In this context, she noted that three Royal initiatives, namely the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline, the Atlantic Africa Initiative, and the Initiative to Enable Access to the Atlantic for Sahel Countries, will make the Moroccan Sa hara a platform for security, stability, and co-development in Africa, the Atlantic, and beyond. Recalling the Royal speech on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Green March, in which His Majesty King Mohammed VI emphasized an ambitious geopolitical vision for Morocco, focused on transforming the Atlantic facade, the speaker affirmed that the goal outlined by the Sovereign is to make this region a focal point for communion, economic integration, and a focal point on the African and international stages. She continued that His Majesty the King expressed His determination to carry out major projects in the southern provinces, focusing on the development of services and infrastructure dedicated to human and economic progress. Regarding the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Bahiya pointed out that this region has benefited from numerous infrastructure projects, such as the construction of the Tiznit-LaSyoune-Dakhla expressway spanning 1,055 km, as well as the Dakhla Atlantic Port, in addition to the extensi on of the electrical grid. She noted that thanks to a visionary Royal vision, the Dakhla Atlantic Port project, which mobilizes an investment of around 10 billion dirhams, aims to stimulate the economic, social, and industrial development of the southern provinces, especially the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region. "This project aims to transform the region into a major industrial hub, promoting the development of a robust naval industry and positioning it as a strategic crossroads, while offering privileged access to the African continent," she continued. Bahiya noted that this new port is intended to accommodate future fishery product flows, particularly the exploitation of small pelagic stocks in zone C (Boujdour-Lagouira), and will serve as a logistical and economic lever to structure the economic and social development of southern Morocco. She also emphasized that several institutions are being developed to strengthen local capacities, citing projects such as the transformation of the regional hospital into a university hospital center, the creation of a "city of trades and skills," and the opening of a medical faculty. On the cultural front, the speaker observed that Morocco has launched a series of initiatives to preserve, integrate, and promote Hassani culture, in line with the Constitution, noting that many public libraries have been opened and several cultural and musical festivals are organized in different cities of the Moroccan Sahara such as Dakhla, Laayoune, and Tan-Tan. A cultural club, a media library, a museum (Dakhla), a Hassani music institute, and a center for the preservation of Hassani culture have also been established, she said, adding that this Center has managed to gather more than 400 Hassani poetry manuscripts. As for the conditions of women in the Moroccan Sahara, Bahiya noted that women play a leading role in society and enjoy a high political participation level, as is the case in other regions of the Kingdom. In the southern provinces, women hold elected office at local, provincia l and national levels and participate in the management of local affairs through regional and local councils elected as part of the advanced regionalization adopted by the Kingdom, she noted, citing projects that have improved the living conditions of vulnerable groups and created income-generating activities in the region. She also pointed out that other social projects helped introduce thousands of women into the job market, adding that women in the Moroccan Sahara are present in parliament, regional councils and municipal councils, and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as their fellow citizens in other regions of the Kingdom. Referring to the legislative, regional and local elections that took place in Morocco, including its Sahara, in September 2021, Bahiya said that these milestones demonstrated the dedication and attachment of the people of the Sahara to their Moroccan identity. She recalled that this triple ballot, which saw massive participation by the populations of the southern provinces, took p lace in a climate of serenity throughout the national territory, pointing out that the turnout in the Moroccan Sahara region reached 66.94% for LaSyoune-Sakia El Hamra and 58.30% for Dakhla Oued Eddahab, the highest at national level. For Ghalla Bahiya, the turnout in the Kingdom's southern provinces confirms the unwavering commitment of the people of the Sahara to the Royal project of building a modern, democratic society, adding that this population is fully integrated into the management of local and public affairs through the election of its representatives to local councils, regional councils and the national parliament. She also condemned the 'desperate conditions' in which women sequestered in the Tindouf camps in south-west Algeria live, where they are subjected to various forms of abuse and torture, including rape. 'Women and children's rights are violated in the Tindouf camps without any action taken by the host country, who still refuses to allow the UNHCR to fulfill its humanitarian mandate to protect the population of these camps, including women and children,' she denounced, insisting that this situation makes it imperative to take a census of these populations. In this context, it condemned the role of the "polisario" separatist group and the host country, Algeria, in the serious and systematic violations of human rights in these camps, as evidenced by the various reports of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which highlight the large-scale harassment, arrests and ill-treatment of bloggers, doctors and nurses in the Tindouf camps by separatist militias. Bahiya also spoke out against the precarious living conditions in which the sequestered people in these camps live, due to the detour of humanitarian aid by the "polisario", as confirmed by the World Food Program (WFP) and the European Union Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). In its 2023 report, the WFP noted major dysfunctions in the management of aid in the Tindouf camps, notably the sale of WFP products on the markets of n eighboring countries, she recalled. "The status quo has an obvious cost for our brothers and sisters in the Tindouf camps, and creates uncertainty about their future", she lamented. To this end, she urged the international community to get the armed separatist group and the host country, Algeria, to put an end to these violations, to stop using children as soldiers, and to allow the registration and census of the populations sequestered in the Tindouf camps. Ghalla Bahiya also pointed out that to put an end to the suffering of these populations sequestered in the Tindouf camps, Morocco proposed the Autonomy Plan in 2007, within the framework of the Kingdom's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "The Moroccan Autonomy Plan is now supported by more than 107 countries around the world, at a time when some 30 states and regional organizations have opened consulates general in the cities of LaSyoune and Dakhla," she said, adding that the autonomy plan is a widely recognized political solution and is in line with Morocco's advanced regionalization process. She recalled that the Autonomy Plan, described as serious and credible in the 20 UN Security Council resolutions since 2007, legitimately aims to achieve a definitive political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. This initiative rests on two pillars: the establishment of local and representative institutions enabling the population of the Moroccan Sahara to enjoy their political, social and cultural rights, and the preservation of Morocco's historic sovereignty over this region, in accordance with international law, explained the elected representative of the Moroccan Sahara. She concluded that implementation of the autonomy plan would further accelerate socio-economic development and guarantee lasting peace and stability in the region. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

C-24: M’hamed Abba Underscores Massive International Support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan

United Nations (New York) - The elected member from the Laayoune Sakia El Hamra region, M'hamed Abba, highlighted, before the members of the United Nations C-24 Committee in New York, the massive international support for the autonomy plan, the only solution to definitively resolve the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Speaking at the annual C24 meeting, which is held from June 11th to 21st, Abba indicated that this initiative presented by Morocco in 2007 enjoys solid backing from over 107 United Nations member states. He noted that around thirty countries and regional organizations have decided to open consulates general in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, thus marking the irreversible dynamic of the Moroccan character of the Sahara. "This is a major development illustrating the absence of any other solution to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara than within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom," he insisted, stating that the status quo "leaves the door open to security risks, including violence, extremism, human trafficking, and economic exploitation." The elected official from the Moroccan Sahara also noted that the autonomy plan, inspired by contemporary models of territorial conflict resolution, is fully compliant with international law and is based on an inclusive and participatory approach. He emphasized that this initiative, described as serious and credible in the 20 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council since 2007, aims legitimately to achieve a definitive political solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara. This initiative is based on two pillars: the establishment of local and representative institutions allowing the population of the Moroccan Sahara to enjoy their political, social, and cultural rights, and the preservation of Morocco's historical sovereignty over this region, in accordance with international law, he explained. He pointed out that the Moroccan autonomy initiative grants expanded prerogatives allowing the Sahara pop ulations to democratically manage their own affairs through legislative, executive, and judicial bodies with exclusive powers. He added that these bodies have the necessary financial resources for the development of the region in all areas and will actively participate in the economic, social, and cultural life of the Kingdom. "The Moroccan initiative will allow regional integration that will guarantee development, security, and cooperation in the Maghreb, which remains one of the least economically integrated regions in the world," the speaker further noted. Abba also remarked that the population of the Moroccan Sahara democratically manages its local affairs and enjoys all fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 2011 Constitution, as well as its socio-economic rights. He noted that the situation in the southern provinces is, in many respects, more favorable than that prevailing in the Tindouf camps and in any other region of the host country, Algeria. Responding to the fallacious allegations propagated by Algeria regarding the representativeness of the population of the Moroccan Sahara, Abba emphasized that the elected representatives from the Moroccan Sahara are the only legitimate representatives of the local population who enjoy democratic legitimacy, "unlike a minority that, illusorily and without any legal basis, attempts to proclaim itself representative of these populations." He recalled that the legislative, regional, and local elections in Morocco, held on September 8, 2021, were a "democratic success," allowing notably clear parliamentary political alternation. He specified that the voter turnout in the Sahara region reached 66.94% for Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra and 58.30% for Dakhla Oued Eddahab, the highest at the national level. He noted that these elections were conducted in democratic conditions and were monitored, independently and neutrally, by 5,020 national and international observers. For Abba, the participation rates in the southern provinces constitute an explicit plebiscite of the local population on its Moroccan identity and its attachment to the democratic process. "It is also the most evident rejection of the +polisario+ dreams regarding its representativeness," he insisted, noting that the armed separatist militia "enjoys no legal, popular, or democratic legitimacy to claim representation of the population of the Moroccan Sahara." He further indicated that the populations of the Sahara enjoy the same freedoms as their fellow citizens in other regions of the Kingdom, adding that the number of associations operating in the southern provinces has risen to more than 7,997 associations. The speaker stated that these populations actively participate in the establishment of policies relating to the management and exploitation of national resources, through their representatives in Parliament and the elected authorities at the local and regional levels. He continued that these populations have political elites at the level of national institutions, regional councils, and provincial councils, specifying that all elected presidents and members of regional and local councils in the Moroccan Sahara are natives of the region, which strengthens the management of their own affairs by the populations. In the same vein, Abba mentioned the considerable efforts that Morocco has continuously made since the recovery of its territorial integrity to ensure the socio-economic development of its Southern provinces. He noted that human development indicators in the Moroccan Sahara were 6% lower than those in the Northern regions, but today, these indicators exceed the average of other regions of the Kingdom. He further explained that this reformative momentum accelerated further with the launch in 2015 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of the new development model for the Southern provinces. He clarified that this model is a mechanism for the application and acceleration of advanced regionalization, aiming to ensure democratic governance and sustainable integrated human development in line with the specificities of the Sahara region. He added that thanks to the investments made under this model, with project completion rates now exceeding 80%, the Moroccan Sahara region has become an economic hub meeting international standards and a bridge between Morocco, Africa, and Europe. "Thanks to these achievements, the Southern provinces of Morocco have recorded significant performances, placing them at the forefront compared to other regions of the Kingdom," he emphasized. In 2021, the annual growth rate in Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra reached 10.9%, significantly higher than the national average, he pointed out. He noted that the GDP per capita in the Moroccan Sahara is 1.6 times higher than the national average, and household consumption is at least 8% higher than the national average. The GDP totals 52,301 dirhams per capita in the city of Dakhla and 27,442 in Laayoune, he said. Echoing the same sentiments, Abba underscored that the Moroccan Sahara, distinguished by its dynamism, is on track to becoming a regional economic hub and a logistical platform on the African continent. In this context, he recalled the Royal speech on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Green March, in which His Majesty King Mohammed VI emphasized the need to strengthen the Atlantic facade, a place of human communion and an economic integration hub promoting exchanges between states in the interest of all stakeholders in a win-win approach. He noted in this regard that the three Royal initiatives, namely the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline, the Atlantic Africa Initiative, and the Initiative to promote access to the Atlantic for Sahel countries, will turn the Moroccan Sahara into a platform for security, stability, and co-development in Africa, the Atlantic, and beyond. "The Royal initiatives represent a step forward in the Kingdom's Atlantic policy, symbolizing the emergence of the Moroccan Sahara as a hub and gateway to Africa for Europe and the Americas," he stated. He also mentioned that the new Atlantic Port of Dakhla, construction of which began in October 2021 and will be completed by 2028, will support regional economic, social, and industrial development in all productive sectors and will also provide the Southern provinces with a modern and evolving logistical tool commensurate with their development ambitions, in addition to valorizing marine fishing products. With a total investment of 10 billion dirhams, this new structure, located at N'tireft, 40 km north of Dakhla, will include an industrial zone of 270 hectares, of which approximately 60 hectares are dedicated to various industrial, administrative, and storage activities, as well as a free zone of 13 hectares, he specified. He noted that with the creation of an industrial-logistics zone, a zone dedicated to commerce, and a section dedicated to the development of the marine fishing industry, the port of Dakhla will place the Southern provinces on the network of international maritime routes and will make them a regional hub for investment, logistics, and international trade, particul arly with the African continent. He also mentioned that the port infrastructures of Laayoune (El Marsa commune), Tarfaya, and Boujdour have been strengthened to give a strong impetus to the economic activities of the region, in addition to the creation of a new port in Tarfaya. This integrated project, for which a budget of nearly 379 million DH has been allocated, is part of the Halieutis Plan and the national plan for the development of coastal fishing activities, he recalled. Referring to the expressway that will connect Tiznit to Dakhla over a distance of 1,055 km, the speaker indicated that the works had progressed by more than 90%, highlighting that this project, which is an integral part of the development program of the Southern provinces initiated in November 2015, required an investment of 10 billion dirhams. These infrastructures will be made accessible to African countries to support their development, reflecting Morocco's commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation aimed at shared prosperity , he affirmed. Regarding the "catastrophic" situation prevailing in the Tindouf camps in southwestern Algeria, Abba indicated that the populations trapped in these camps are deprived of their most basic rights and are considered a "commercial asset" used by the "polisario" armed group and the host country for enrichment through the diversion of humanitarian aid. "The humanitarian situation in the Tindouf camps is one of despair and inaction that has lasted for nearly 50 years and constitutes a threat to the stability of the entire region," he warned, adding that the systematic diversion of humanitarian aid intended for the population of the Tindouf camps has been once again confirmed by a new report from the World Food Programme (WFP). He recalled, in this regard, that all Security Council resolutions since 2011 have called on the host country of the Tindouf camps, Algeria, to allow for the registration of the camp populations, in accordance with international humanitarian law. In this context, he urged t he international community to demand that the host country, Algeria, and the "polisario" end the situation of anarchy prevailing in the Tindouf camps, by allowing a dignified return of the trapped populations to their homeland, Morocco. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

Ambassador Hilale: Algeria Must Face Reality of the fiasco of its Separatist Project in Sahara

United Nations - The Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale, underlined, Tuesday in New York, that Algeria, the main party to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, must face the reality of the fiasco of its separatist project in the Sahara. "Today, Algeria is faced with a choice: to follow a peaceful approach respectful of the principle of good neighborliness and the peaceful settlement of disputes, or to get bogged down in the costly fiasco of its polisarian agenda, with billions of dollars and at the expense of the well-being of the Algerian people, who are lining up to obtain the most basic foodstuffs,' underlined Hilale. The ambassador, who was speaking at the ordinary session of the UN Committee of 24 (C24) held from June 10 to 21, called on neighboring Algeria to learn lessons from the bitter failure of its separatist project in the Moroccan Sahara. "Instead of rehashing its speeches on its supposed defense of self-determination and proclaiming a ps eudo neutrality in which it is the only one to still believe, Algeria would do better to take note of the three immutable evidences: The Sahara has always been Moroccan and will forever remain Moroccan; the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative is the one and only solution to this dispute, within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom; Morocco will carry on with determination the development strategy of its southern provinces, which are becoming a regional and continental hub", he stated. Recalling the creation of the C24 in 1961, by the UN General Assembly to implement resolution 1514 which enshrines the principle of self-determination, and which was adopted by this Assembly on December 14, 1960, the ambassador noted that over the years, there has been an unfortunate deviation in the implementation of the resolution 1514 coupled with an unfortunate exploitation of the C24 mandate. 'Indeed, in their great wisdom, the authors of resolution 1514 insisted on detailing the process of i ts implementation, supplementing it the following day with another resolution, 1541,' he said. This resolution (1541) which no one pretends to ignore, clearly establishes the 3 options for applying the principle of self-determination, in this case independence, free association or integration. Moreover, Resolution 2625 of 1970 added the option of any other freely chosen political status, he said. "However, blinded by out-dated ideologies, and emphasizing the sole option of independence to the detriment of the two other alternatives, certain States have multiplied insidious maneuvers with a view to making the C24 a Committee of Balkanization", regretted the ambassador, pointing out that "self-determination is not synonymous with a path towards independence. Moreover, self-determination cannot be achieved at the expense of the territorial integrity of States'. Indeed, Resolution 1514 clearly states, in its OP 6, that "any attempt aimed at partially or totally destroying the national unity and territorial inte grity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter", Hilale pursued. "Moreover, these same States excel in the exegesis of 1514 and 1541 by linking self-determination to the referendum process. However, these two resolutions make no reference to the referendum, which is a simple mechanism of expression. They do not condition, either, the implementation of their relevant provisions by any referendum consultation", the diplomat stated. He stressed that it is "regrettable to note the deviation from the initial mandate of the C24 and to see the disappearance from our discussions, or even from the reports of this Committee, any reference to the other constituent elements of self-determination. It is equally regrettable to witness a rewriting of the C24 mandate by giving it an ideological connotation". Morocco's ambassador to the UN further noted that it was on the basis of the initial mandate of the C24 that Morocco introduced to this Committee in 1963 the question of its Saha ran provinces then under Spanish domination. In parallel with its efforts within the C24, Morocco requested the advisory opinion of the ICJ in 1975, he recalled, noting that the Court did justice to the Kingdom by establishing the existence of legal links of allegiance between the Sultans of Morocco and the tribes of the Moroccan Sahara, thus confirming the irrefutable sovereignty of Morocco over its Sahara. Omar Hilale noted that on the basis of this recognition, the Kingdom of Morocco concluded the Madrid Agreement with Spain in 1975, thus consecrating the return of the Sahara to its motherland, Morocco, after 91 years of Spanish occupation. 'This agreement was ratified by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 3458B of December 10, 1975, thus placing the process of recovering the territorial integrity of Morocco in line with the principles of the UN Charter, international law, and the spirit and letter of Resolution 1514,' he recalled. The ambassador regretted that this issue unfortunate ly transformed into a bilateral regional dispute, since Algeria was guilty of violating article 6 of the aforementioned resolution 1514, by attempting to thwart the legitimate rights of Morocco over its Sahara and to undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity, by creating, sheltering on its territory, arming and financing the armed separatist group "polisario". Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse

Slovenia Hails Morocco’s Distinguished Role as Strategic EU Partner

Rabat - The Republic of Slovenia hailed on Tuesday in Rabat the distinguished role played by the Kingdom of Morocco as a strategic partner of the European Union (EU). In a joint communiqué issued at the end of talks held between Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, and Slovenian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Tanja Fajon, Morocco and Slovenia stressed the centrality of the historic and privileged partnership between the Kingdom and the EU, emphasizing the importance of this strategic partnership for both parts. The two countries reiterated their commitment to contribute to the strengthening of cooperation, dialogue, and partnership in the Euro-African region and between the European Union and its southern neighborhood, in order to address the common challenges, particularly in the fields of security, stability, migration and social and economic development. On regional issues, Slovenia and Morocco exchanged views on topics of common interest, and on the new challenges to peace and security in the Sahel region, emphasizing their positive and constructive role in maintaining stability, security and peace in their respective regions. They also affirmed their commitment to international legality and the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes, the Communiqué adds, noting that Slovenia recognizes Morocco's important role in promoting security in the region and commends its commitment to stability, the fight against terrorism and cooperation on cross-border migration management. The two parties further discussed possibilities for closer cooperation in the field of internal security and law enforcement especially in the areas of fighting organized crime, sexual exploitation of children, cybercrime, money laundering, fraud and economic crime, corruption, forgery, and trafficking of documents as well as terrorism. Bourita also congratulated Tanja Fajon on the membership of Slovenia to the UN Security Council for 2024-202 5, and appreciated the inclusive approach that Slovenia is bringing to the work of the Security Council and to the relevant priorities of its mandate within this UN body, in favor of the maintenance of international peace and security. Both sides committed to work closely and to continue consultation and coordination within international organizations on multilateral issues of common interest. Within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the two ministers encouraged cooperation between the Piran-based EMUNI Euro-Mediterranean University and the Euromed University of Fez, and agreed to promote bilateral and regional academic cooperation in the fields of science, research, innovation and the blue economy, to create opportunities for empowering young people throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region. The Slovenian Foreign Minister is paying an official visit to Morocco, at the invitation of Bourita, to mark the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom o f Morocco and the Republic of Slovenia. Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse