4th French-Moroccan meetings on developmen in Southern Provinces wrap up in Laayoune

The 4th edition of the French-Moroccan meetings on the development actions in the southern provinces wrapped up Saturday in Laayoune.

Initiated under the theme “Getting out of ambiguity” by the France-Morocco Peace and Sustainable Development Foundation, in partnership with the Ribat Al Fath Association, these meetings took place in Guelmim, Tan-Tan, Smara and Laayoune with a focus on sustainable human development programs in the economic, scientific, cultural, tourism and urban planning fields.

Speaking at the closing session, the wali of the region Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra, governor of the province of Laâyoune, Abdeslam Bekrate, stressed the importance of these meetings in the consolidation of bilateral economic, cultural and human relations, welcoming the commitment of the France-Morocco Foundation for Peace and Sustainable Development in favor of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity.

The official recalled the latest developments regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue, including the recognition by the United States of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara, the positive change in the positions of some allies, such as Spain and Germany, and the opening of several consulates general of friendly countries in Laayoune and Dakhla.

Bekrate also reviewed the socio-economic progress and major projects carried out since the launch by HM King Mohammed VI in 2015 of the new development Model for the southern provinces. The latter has significantly improved the human development indicators and the living conditions of the population of the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra.

In a speech read on his behalf, the President of the Regional Council of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, noted that this model aims to boost the momentum of development through a series of structuring projects, with a view to creating a conducive business climate to attract foreign investment, and promoting self-employment and entrepreneurship.

The goal is to turn Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra into a national economic hub and a gateway for trade between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, he said.

For his part, the President of the France-Morocco Foundation Peace and Sustainable Development, Hubert Seillan, said that the Sahara is Moroccan by history and geography, describing the Moroccanness of the Sahara as “the condition for peace and development.”

In similar remarks, the president of the Ribat Al Fath Association, Abdelkrim Bennani, noted that Laayoune is the last stop of the “journey” of these Franco-Moroccan meetings, praising the members of the France-Morocco Foundation for Peace and Sustainable Development for their strong and unambiguous support for the Moroccan Sahara and the development process in the Kingdom, especially “in this particular juncture.”

This visit, which was “a success”, allowed the French delegation to discover the enormous assets of the southern provinces and investment opportunities in several strategic sectors, Bennani said.

The closing session of the 4th edition of the Franco-Moroccan meetings on development actions at work in the southern provinces took place in the presence of members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Laayoune, elected officials and local leaders, in addition to economic operators and representatives of public institutions and professional bodies.

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