Morocco-UK Parliamentary Relations Strengthened In London

The prospects for cooperation and the strengthening of parliamentary relations between Morocco and the United Kingdom were at the center of the diplomatic agenda in London, with in particular the visit of a delegation from the Moroccan-British parliamentary friendship group.

This visit comes shortly after the reconstitution of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) devoted to Morocco, with the election of a new president for the first time in 10 years, in the person of the Conservative MP, Heather Wheeler. The group is now made up of 25 parliamentarians who are friends of Morocco and come from different political parties.

The reconstitution of the APPG-Morocco consolidates parliamentary relations between Morocco and the United Kingdom which continue to strengthen. Indeed, more than four visits by British parliamentarians took place in Morocco last year, while friendship groups were formed in the two Chambers of the Moroccan Parliament, paving the way for the visit of a delegation of women Moroccan parliamentarians.

Composed of Sahar Abdouh, President of the Morocco-UK Friendship Group in the House of Representatives, Jalila Morsli, President of the Morocco-UK Friendship Group in the House of Councilors and Zaina Idhali, Vice-President of the House of Representatives, this delegation held a series of meetings with British MPs and officials.

In a statement to MAP, Ms Morsli said the visit comes at the invitation of Ms Wheeler, noting that it provides an opportunity to hold talks with many British peers and MPs and to strengthen “ancestral relationships between our two civilizations and our two peoples who share many common values”.

For her part, Ms. Abdouh specified that during these exchanges, “we emphasized the major role that Moroccan and British parliamentarians can play in accelerating bilateral strategic projects”.

Mrs. Idhali, for her part, insisted on the timely timing of this visit, which comes just after the restructuring of the friendship groups, stressing that this testifies to the desire shared by the two countries to strengthen their partnership.

Working Meetings With The Director

In addition to working meetings with the Director for the MENA region in the UK Foreign Office, Stephen Hickey, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans, and eminent members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the delegation was able to meet with the members of the APPG dedicated to women parliamentarians, in particular to discuss the increasingly sustained role and participation of women in political life in Morocco.

For his part, the Ambassador of Morocco to the United Kingdom, Hakim Hajoui, noted that “these meetings were an opportunity to highlight the momentum of economic and social development that Morocco is experiencing under the enlightened vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI”, emphasizing that “these reforms are the foundation of a new Morocco, determined to move forward and meet the challenges with serenity and determination”.

Several subjects were discussed in this regard, in particular the progress made in terms of gender equality, through the strengthening of the representation of women in positions of responsibility, he added, noting that the Moroccan Parliament has nearly 25% of female MPs, in similar proportions to what is found in the United Kingdom.

“Issues relating to the New Development Model, the new ongoing reform of the Moudawana, the modernization of the health system and the digitalization of education and its orientation towards Anglo-Saxon models” were also at the heart exchanges, detailed Mr. Hajoui.

The United Kingdom, with all its institutional components, continues to support and welcome the reforms undertaken by Morocco in all areas, particularly those relating to the strengthening of the role and status of women and those related to education and youth, he said.

In addition, an Iftar was organized in honor of the Moroccan parliamentary delegation and the new APPG-Morocco at the Moroccan residence in London, giving Ms. Wheeler and Mr. Hajoui the opportunity to highlight the quality of relations linking the two Kingdoms at different levels, while emphasizing the importance of strengthening bilateral parliamentary relations and establishing a constant dialogue between the elected representatives of the two countries.

With the installation of these friendship groups in the two Kingdoms, Morocco and the United Kingdom will continue to roll out an ambitious action plan to further strengthen parliamentary relations, accelerate the implementation of Morocco-UK structuring projects, and further strengthen the cooperation between the two Kingdoms and the human ties that unite them, they added.

This Iftar, which saw the presence of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Fiona Bruce, also provided an opportunity to highlight Morocco’s pioneering role in interreligious dialogue and its history. millennium as a crossroads of civilizations and a land of coexistence.

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Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.