His Excellency Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco met with a small group of Whitehall and academic experts to discuss Morocco’s security preoccupations in the Mediterranean on Wednesday 3 June. Hosted by Michael Clarke (Director of RUSI) and Alastair Cameron (Head of the European Security Programme), the discussion focused on Morocco’s outlook on Middle Eastern and Western relations.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean made some opening remarks by placing the UK-Morocco relationship in context, highlighting the ‘frank’ and productive dialogues between the two nations on security.
During his speech, the Foreign Minister gave an overview of Morocco’s position within the international security arena, stressing the importance of a well-policed Mediterranean, and highlighting the risks of drug and human trafficking across the area.
Mr Fihri called for more regional co-operation in order to deliver more effective security, and remarked upon the influences of Al-Qa’ida in Northern Africa attributing this in part to a lack of investment in the democratisation of certain south Saharan countries. Speaking of ungoverned spaces in the Sahel strip for instance, the Minister also called for a better co-operation between leaders. He spoke briefly on Jerusalem as a multi-religious centre, and said that if Palestine could become in time a viable independent state, then it could also become a valuable ally to Israel.
Overall, the Minister stressed that international observers must maintain optimism about relations in the Middle East.