Saint Lucia will on Friday, February 8, 2013 play host to a 10-member delegation from the Kingdom of Morocco led by His Excellency Mr. Nasser Bourita, Ambassador/General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The visit comes on the heels of a recent encounter between Honourable Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation and His Excellency Dr. Saad Dine El Otmani, Minister for External Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The two met during the CARICOM-Morocco consultation held in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco last December, where a number of issues were discussed, focusing primarily on the mutual development of both countries.
A key agenda item was the need to augment Saint Lucia’s skilled human resource capacity. In this context, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco has mentioned that a number of scholarship awards could be made available to Saint Lucia nationals desirous of pursuing undergraduate studies – details of which will be negotiated during the forthcoming visit. Practical measures to increase the island’s production in the agricultural sector will also be explored.
It is also expected that in general the visit will provide the opportunity to further enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries and to establish a roadmap for future cooperation.
This will be the first high-level visit in years by a Moroccan delegation since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1988.
Representatives from various government agencies including the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), the Office of Vocational Training and Employment Promotion (OFPPT), the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) and the Office Cherifien for Phosphates (OCP) [the world’s largest exporter of rock and phosphoric acid and one of the most important producers of fertilizers] will form part of the delegation who will effectuate this short visit.
During the visit, the contingent will pay a courtesy call on Honourable Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation. Members of the delegation will also meet with counterparts from various government ministries.
Moreover, it is expected that this visit will provide an opportunity to finalize arrangements for the establishment of a Moroccan Embassy in Saint Lucia.
As the writhes and tides of diplomacy call for renewed commitment from members of the international community, the visit is testament of the promise by Saint Lucia and Morocco to reevaluate their international relations as the countries draw closer to fulfilling their development objectives.