Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     15.10.2002

RIA NOVOSTI INTERVIEW OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO AS REGARDS RUSSIAN-MOROCCAN RELATIONS IN VIEW OF THE FORTHCOMING OFFICIAL VISIT OF MOROCCO'S KING MOHAMMED IV

     2077-14-10-2002

     Q: How successful is the development of Russian-Moroccan relations?

     A: Russia and Morocco, one of the most influential countries of the Arab and Islamic world, enjoy long-term friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation.

     The multifaceted cooperation between our counties stems from respect for national interests, goodwill towards each other's concerns and sharing opinions on the ways of tackling a wide range of international and regional problems. All the aforementioned makes up a solid base for increasing coordination of political moves.

     The two countries support the idea of establishing a stable, just and multilateral world order based on the principles of non-interference in domestic affairs, equality of rights and sovereignty of state, peaceful settling of conflicts, democracy and the rule of law.

     Q: What aspects of the political dialogue between Moscow and Rabat are on top of the agenda?

     A: Russia and Morocco share views on fighting international terrorism and ways of addressing the problems of conflict settlement. What is most important is that the two sides stem from the need to strengthen the role of the United Nations in this direction, promoting its image in the Security Council, which claims major responsibility for maintaining the world peace and security.

     Coordination of stances on the Middle East settlement and the Iraqi crisis comes to the fore with Morocco's common sense in tackling the problems, its adherence to peaceful and political measures and Rabat's international and regional authority.

     As to the West Sahara issue, Russia continues to stand its ground in resorting to political and diplomatic measures to settle the problem, assisted by UN efforts in adjusting this dragging dispute, first of all by the UN Peace Plan. At the same time, we welcome all other alternatives of political settling which would bring the conflicting sides to a voluntary agreement.

     Q: What can you say about economic and trade cooperation between Russia and Morocco?

     A: We believe it is high time the high level of Russian-Moroccan political mutual understanding was backed by specific agreements and projects of cooperation in commercial, economic, scientific, technological and other spheres. Active involvement of state enterprises, as well as business circles and individual regions of the two countries in Russian-Morocco cooperation is expected to hold prospects. Already Morocco is turning into Russia's leading commercial partner in Africa, with the mutual turnover amounting to USD 379.5 million in 2001.


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