CANBERRA, Australia, January 6, 2020/ — The year 2019 marked a path ahead in the process of consolidation of bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Commonwealth of Australia as well as with New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Countries, already enhanced, during recent years, in a number of common interest fields.
In Australia, the visit of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Waters and Forests, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, in February 2019, during which met, alongside the accompanying delegation, with his Australian counterpart in addition to a number of federal and local officials and paid a number of field visits, has constituted an opportunity to examine viable ways of enhancing cooperation between Morocco and Australia, two countries possessing an enormous potential and common features in the fields of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Waters and Forests.
Besides, this visit has been followed by the concretization of cooperation in the field of research as the University of Adelaide has signed a number of partnership agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco, in the framework of the visit of an important delegation representing the Australian University (November 2019) and the visit of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Peter Rathjen (June 2019) to Morocco.
The emphasis on the reinforcement of economic ties between the two countries is reflected equally through the Trade Mission organized by a delegation of the Arab- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Morocco in April as well as the participation of this Embassy in a number of economic events held in Australia, this year, notably the “Africa Down Under Conference” in Perth and the International Mining and Resources Conference “IMARC” in Melbourne.
In the fields of counter-terrorism and defense, the Ambassador of HM the King, Mr. Karim Medrek took part to important events held in Australia such as the ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference held in Melbourne in presence of the Australian Foreign and Defense Ministers as well as the French Foreign Minister among other personalities. The Ambassador also participated in the Military Communication and Information Systems Comference in Canberra, in presence of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, in an event aimed at contributing to the future direction of military communications and information systems.
In the Academic field, this year has witnessed the holding of constructive exchange programs, especially the second edition of “OZ in Morocco” to which students-journalists from the University of Deakin have taken part to enquire about the characteristics of media landscape in the Kingdom while working on journalism projects alongside their peers from the Advanced School of Journalism and Communication in Rabat.
In the same vein, Students from the University of Melbourne participated in an exchange program in collaboration with the International University of Rabat, focusing on Modern Arabic Language and Issues in the Middle East/North Africa region.
The Embassy took also part to Academic events during which the Ambassador, Mr. Karim Medrek gave lectures at the Australian Diplomatic Academy to shed lights on the determinants of Moroccan Foreign Policy and at the Manning Clarke Foundation to discuss the way Multilateralism can be effective while facing the current global challenges.
In the cultural sphere, this year has been marked by the holding of the 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival in which Australia has been the guest of honour and the participation of Maalem Hamid El Kasri in the Womadelaide Festival held in Australia and New Zealand.
With the aim of bringing cultural ties closer, the Embassy has devoted its participation in the 2019 National Multicultural Festival to the Moroccan Hassani Culture and the Traditional Moroccan Marriage Ceremony at the renowned Civic Square of Canberra, in presence of more than 200,000 attendees. Besides, the Moroccan Embassy participated in the celebration of the 56thanniversary of Africa Day held, in May, at the Hellenic Club of Canberra in presence of the Governor General of Australia, African Heads of Mission and various Personalities.
Moreover, the Embassy has participated actively in the celebration of the first “Francophonie Week” in Canberra by hosting on the18th of March, its ceremony of inauguration, participating in the roundtable entitled “Can l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie be a tool for Multilateralism?” held at the Australian National University (ANU) and the annual Open Day event held at the Alliance Française.
In New Zealand, the Embassy organised, from the 28th of April to the 3rd of May, the Moroccan Week to which the Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and the Digital Economy, in charge of foreign trade, Mrs. Rakiya Eddarhem was the “guest of honour”. This week was marked by a number of activities held in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, notably official meetings, conferences and roundtables.
This year has also been marked by visits to the Pacific Island Countries. In this regard, the Ambassador presented his letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. He also paid, during this year, a working visit to Fiji following the invitation of this pacific country’s government.
During these visits to the Pacific Islands Countries, the Ambassador held talks with various governmental, parliamentarian and opposition personalities in those countries and discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation in the upcoming years.
As the of the year is starting, let us take a look back, through the video in Media Section, at some of 2019’s best highlights of the Moroccan Embassy in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands States.