Transcript of Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov Following Talks with Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou, Rabat, November 22, 2005
Foreign Minister Lavrov: The talks held today, above all the meeting with His Majesty Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, the just-concluded conversation with the Prime Minister, and the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs have again clearly borne out that our relations bear the character of a genuine strategic partnership, as was decided at the meeting between the leaders of the two countries in Moscow when they signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership in 2002.
Since the signing of this Declaration Morocco has confidently moved forward as the principal trade and economic partner of Russia both in North Africa and in Africa as a whole. I absolutely agree with Mr. Prime Minister that we can do a great deal more, above all from the viewpoint of trade expansion. Here a considerable reserve lies in the development of ties with regions of the Russian Federation. We can also do very much in terms of investment. All these questions, I hope, will be discussed at a session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-and-Economic Cooperation between Russia and Morocco, which is due to meet in the first months of the next year and must be very productive.
The excellent personal relationships that are evolving at the human level also conduce to the development of the partnership in all fields. Here I cannot fail to mention such a colossal potential as the ten thousand Moroccan citizens who have been trained in Soviet and Russian higher educational institutions. Another 2,500 young Moroccan men and women are currently training in Russia. Unquestionably, this is a reserve for building up our interaction and deepening the partnership.
On international issues we have close or identical positions as regards the necessity of settling all disputes by peaceful means, of reinforcing international law and multilateralism in world politics, of strengthening the United Nations Organization and of politically resolving all conflicts, including those in the Middle East region, be it the situation around Iraq or Syria or Western Sahara settlement, the necessity of resolving them by peaceful means, on the basis of agreements which will be acceptable to all the concerned parties.
As Mr. Prime Minister said, we shall be continuing contacts at all levels. In particular, I have invited my counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Benaisa, to visit Moscow at a time convenient to him.
Many, many thanks to the leadership of Morocco for the hospitality in this historical land of plenty. Here you really feel at home. Thank you.
November 23, 2005