Morocco-GCC Summit

Gulf Cooperation Council conscious of its commitments with Morocco

17 MAY 2016,
Gulf Cooperation Council leaders
Gulf Cooperation Council leaders

Call for Morocco Gulf Cooperation Council Partnership

The kingdom of Morocco is a monarchy regime, similar to the Gulf Cooperation council countries, its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. A Gulf Ministerial Council of 2011 stressed in Riyadh, during the time of Arab spring, on the importance of the strategic partnership between the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Morocco.

This conviction was expressed in the final communicated sanction concerning the work of the joint meeting of the Gulf Ministerial Council with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco and Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister. The statement issued after the meeting, highlighted the guidelines of Heads of State of the GCC countries that stressed the need to move forward in the establishment of distinguished strategic partnership that meets the aspirations of the peoples of these countries for further progress and prosperity.

The issued communicated also emphasized the need for solidarity and complementarity between Arab countries, their contribution to preserve the stability, sovereignty and unity of their territory, while working in the shelter of political and sectarian conflicts.

The ministerial meeting also praised the results of the exchanges of visits and ongoing contacts between the heads of state of the GCC and Morocco, noting that such coordination reflectes the interest accorded by the leaders in the development of distinguished strategic cooperation to consolidate the process of development and investment and to serve the interests and common goals.

Morocco-Gulf Cooperation Council held their first summit

The Gulf countries had organized at the end of last month the first summit Morocco- Gulf countries with the participation of Morocco King Mohammed VI. The opportunity for GCC countries is to ensure the political and military support of Morocco, simultaneously Morocco will ensure the continuity of donations and investments of GCC countries in Morocco.

Morocco-Gulf Cooperation Council summit is set to bring new dynamics and multidimensional strategic partnership between Morocco and the Cooperation Council. After the summit, King Mohammed VI conducted working visit to several countries in the region.

In the economic aspect, Morocco gives the priority to ensure the continuity of the cooperation agreement with the GCC countries after the expiration in 2016 of the partnership agreement signed between the two entities (Morocco and the GCC). The agreement resulted in the creation of a fund of five billion dollars for Morocco. This cooperation illustrates, among others, the strengthening of economic ties between Morocco and the GCC over the past decade. Trade between Morocco and the GCC countries increased by 11% annually, reaching 28.6 billion dirhams in 2014. Saudi Arabia is the first customer of Morocco, with about 920 million dirhams of exports, 52.4% of the regional total, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 589 million dirhams a share of 33.5%.

The investments of Gulf countries are also numerous in Morocco. Over the past decade, the overall volume of investments in the Kingdom has reached five billion dollars, or nearly 50 billion dirhams, according to the official news agency MAP. Their share of all incoming FDI in Morocco thus rose to 28% in 2014, against 14% in 2013.

Between 2006 and 2014, FDI from Gulf countries have accumulated nearly 57 billion dirhams, representing 19% of total FDI to Morocco during the same period. These investments are mainly from the UAE (44% of flows received GCC in 2006-2014) and Saudi Arabia (38%) and are especially designed for tourism, real estate and energy.

But this cooperation is allowed to develop further as the Gulf Cooperation Council plans to increase the amount of its investments to $120 billion over the next ten years.

Secure the support of Gulf countries on the Sahara issue

Morocco through its strategic partnership wants to "enlist the support of Gulf countries on the Sahara issue. These countries have always supported the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco. On the other side, Morocco has a security expertise to argue and bring to GCC countries, and it will help them face challenges and threats in the region.

Morocco's support in this area is illustrated by "active support" in the UAE since 2014 by participating in the fight against terrorism in the Gulf region on operational aspects and military intelligence," according to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Morocco had participated in military operations in the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia against Shiite rebels in Yemen. Also, Morocco had made "all forms of support in its political, intelligence, logistics and military" particularly by "the provision of the coalition of the Royal Air Forces stationed in the UAE."

Apart from the security sphere, Morocco provides political support to the countries of the organization. "Morocco also provides political support to the Gulf countries for latent conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran”. Tensions between the two Middle Eastern countries have been exacerbated in early 2016 following the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia.