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EU Reaffirms 'Utmost Importance' of Fisheries Partnership with Morocco

The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed the "utmost importance" it attaches to its fisheries partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco and the "essential interest" it has in its continuation, in a "spirit of trust, solidarity and mutual interest".

It also underlined, in a joint statement issued at the end of the 5th session of the Joint Commission responsible for monitoring the Partnership Agreement in the field of sustainable fisheries, held, Thursday, in Brussels, that relations with Morocco in the field of fisheries "are part of a global and mutually beneficial partnership, which makes Morocco and the EU strategic partners for stability, development and prosperity in the region".

Held in accordance with the Partnership Agreement for Sustainable Fisheries between Morocco and the European Union, this 5th meeting provided an opportunity to make an overall assessment of the four years of implementation of the Fisheries Protocol of July 18, 2019, which expires on July 17, in accordance with its Article 16.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, had said at a press conference in Rabat on Wednesday at the end of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Atlantic African States Process that the Kingdom will decide on the future of cooperation with the EU in the fisheries sector considering the government's own assessments and in consultation with European partners.

Bourita also described the implementation of the protocol as "satisfactory", noting that cooperation over the past four years has been "positive and mutually beneficial."

On the same occasion, Morocco and the EU congratulated each other on their exemplary cooperation, which in all circumstances has allowed the operation of artisanal and industrial vessels, the transparent and rigorous management of the Protocol and the continuous scientific monitoring of the state of fishery resources.

In particular, the parties welcomed the satisfactory implementation of the Fisheries Agreement and its Protocol in its various dimensions, in particular the excellent state of progress of the projects for the development of the fisheries sector in Morocco, highlighting the positive socio-economic impact on the sector, on small-scale fishing, on sustainable aquaculture for the benefit of young entrepreneurs and fishermen's cooperatives, as well as on job creation, training and integration into working life, particularly for women and young people.

These projects, the joint press release adds, may continue beyond the expiry of the Protocol, as provided for therein.



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