Deepening Relations Between the Gulf States and Morocco

Deepening Relations Between the Gulf States and Morocco

The diplomatic relations between the Gulf States and Morocco have always been in good shape. Since the reign of late King Hassan II of Morocco, the Kingdom has been regarded as a privileged partner and a trusted ally in the region and diplomatic relations have remained strong. 

Indeed, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had proposed to Morocco to join the organisation in 2011. At the time, despite the evident diplomatic, political, and economic advantages that such a deepened association with the GCC States might have brought, this proposal was not acted upon, perhaps owing to the practical difficulties inherently related to such a strengthened alliance. However, ten years later, this desire to deepen the strategic nature of their relations still appears to be high on the agenda of both Morocco and the Gulf.

During a teleconference held in January 2022, Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Secretary General of the GCC, reiterated both parties’ readiness to effectively deepen their relations. Among the many issues discussed at length during the meeting, the issue of Western Sahara and the support expressed by the Gulf monarchies for the territorial integrity of the North African Kingdom were also part of the programme of the video conference.

The conference was held just a month after an important joint communique of the GCC States was published as the closing remarks of the 42nd Gulf Summit held in Riyadh in December 2021. In this declaration, the GCC States restated their support for the Moroccan character of Western Sahara and insisted on the importance of preserving the territorial integrity of the Kingdom as well as its security and stability.

During the virtual meeting, Al-Hajraf reiterated this joint position of the GCC members. “[…] Any solution to the regional conflict can only take place within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco,” he said.

Reaffirming Morocco's gratitude to the GCC for their support, Bourita also denounced the unacceptable nature of the recent attacks carried by the Houthi rebels against Saudi Arabia and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates. Finally, at a time when negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal appear to be stalled, Bourita also condemned any form of Iranian intervention in the domestic affairs of the Gulf States.

The meeting ended with Morocco’s solemn invitation to Al-Hajraf to visit the country.

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