The Moroccan representative to South Africa, Chargé d’Affaires a.i Mr A Naji said Africa has a central and special place for Morocco’s foreign affairs, he made his remarks during his address at a reception to mark the 18th anniversary of the ascension to the throne by His Majesty King Mohamed VI in Pretoria.
Mr Naji said since his accession to the throne in July 1999,the King of the Kingdom of Morocco has paid visits to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and targeted West African countries.
He said: “Under the righteous leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, the kingdom has been strengthening its relations with African Countries. In 18 years, His Majesty paid more than 29 official visits, and signed more than 900 agreements.”
A big crowd of diplomats and distinguished guests joined the celebration, Rwanda, US, Argentina, Zimbabwe, were some of the countries represented at the event, Miss Basani Baloyi, Acting Director General of the Department of Communications, was the honoured guest representing Ayanda Dlodlo, minister of communications.
Mr Naji emphasized his welcoming speech on the important development projects and engaged political and institutional reforms carried under the leadership of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, as well as the South-South cooperation engaged by Morocco with its African partners.
The Moroccan envoy said that the relations between South Africa and his country are marked by friendship and solidarity.
Mr Naji said: “A constructive cooperation between Morocco and South Africa in the south could but for the interest of Africa. Their respective geographical position provides them the opportunity to be the axis of peace, progress and brotherhood in the continent.”
He also noted that the King’s ascension was being celebrated in the month of South Africa’s beloved son Nelson Mandela, making the relations special. He explained how he remembered Mandela’s trip to Morocco.
Naji explained: “…as we are celebrating Mandela month in South Africa, I would like to remember Mandela’s trip to Morocco in 1962, to meet late Hassan II and his story with Dr Al Khatib and his stay in a farm( training camp) in Oujda, where he met President Agostinho Neto, President Ahmed Ben Bella, President Houari Boumadiane, President Ahmed Boudiafe and others.”
Miss Baloyi on behalf of the South African government honoured the King and his people for their positive role they are playing on the continent.