ROME: Italy considers Morocco “a strategic partner for the security of the Mediterranean,” Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said during a meeting in Rome on Wednesday with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita.
“It is essential for both our countries to work together for the stability and prosperity of the Mediterranean region,” Tajani said during a joint press conference at the end of the meeting which, he stressed, took place “in a particularly positive moment for the bilateral relation between Italy and Morocco.”
Bourita described the relation between Morocco and Italy as “traditionally strong” and based on “fruitful” cooperation in all fields.
The two ministers signed an action plan for the implementation of a multidimensional strategic partnership that sets for the next few years four priorities for Moroccan-Italian relations: strengthening political dialogue on regional issues in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, consolidating economic and cultural cooperation, reinforcing security coordination, and creating a consultation mechanism on immigration and consular affairs.
Bourita said: “Italy is keen to work in Africa with Morocco, which it considers a key player in the Mediterranean region thanks to its stability and the initiatives it is undertaking, on the instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in various fields.”
He described as “promising” the economic partnership between the two countries, pointing out that Italy is one of Morocco’s top 10 trading partners, with 200 Italian companies operating in the kingdom in a wide range of sectors.
Tajani recalled that in 2022 bilateral trade increased by more than 27 percent, and said a business council will be established to develop a shared vision on Africa.
A joint effort was pledged in tackling organized crime and illegal migration.
“Morocco is an essential country in our southern neighborhood,” said Tajani. “It will always be able to count on Italy as a friendly country within the EU.”
In Rome, Bourita also met with the speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Lorenzo Fontana.