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President Zuma Underlines Importance of Reinforcing Ties with Morocco
South African president Jacob Zuma underlined the importance to reinforce relations with Morocco, an African country that had supported the fight of South African people against apartheid.
“Morocco is an African nation and we need to have relations with them,” said Zuma in an interview issued Sunday by south African daily “News24”.
Morocco would send its ambassador back to Pretoria as a first sign that the two countries were raising the level of their diplomatic representations in the capitals of the two countries, the south African president added.
This development came following the meeting on Wednesday in Abidjan by HM King Mohammed VI and president Zuma on the sidelines of the 5th African Union-European Union Summit.
“We never had problems with them (Moroccans) anyway,” Zuma went on to say, recalling the support of the Kingdom for the south African people in its fight against racial segregation.
Morocco was one of the countries in which former president Nelson Mandela had acquired military experience in the early 1960s, Zuma said, stressing that “they (Moroccans) helped us a great deal.”
“That is why, when Mandela was released from prison, he felt it was important for him to go to Morocco and say thank you to them”, Zuma added.
During their meeting in Abidjan, HM King Mohammed VI and president Zuma agreed to work together for a promising future, especially as South Africa and Morocco are two important poles of political stability and economic development, respectively in the extreme north and the extreme south of the continent.
They also agreed to maintain direct contact and to launch a fruitful economic and political partnership in order to build strong, lasting and stable relations, and to go beyond the situation that had characterised bilateral relations.
In this regard, President Zuma and HM the King have decided to raise the level of diplomatic representation through the appointment of high level ambassadors in Rabat and in Pretoria.