By Lizzy Okoji
The ECOWAS Parliament and Morocco’s House of Councilors have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) emphasising the need to maintain and deepen cooperation between the two parties.
Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis and President of Moroccan House of Chancellor, Enaam Mayara, signed the MoU known as the “Laayoune Declaration’’ on behalf of both entities in Rabat, Morocco.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Communications Department of the ECOWAS Parliament and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
The MoU covers the economy, parliamentary, human relations and diplomacy amongst others.
It said the agreement was signed based on the importance of economic and trade relations between Morocco and ECOWAS countries and the promising opportunities between the two sides.
The said ECOWAS Parliament championed the cause considering the role of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening cooperation and unifying positions on bilateral and regional issues.
It said under the agreement, the Parliament would examine ways to develop economic, commercial and human relations, and exploit promising possibilities in cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and West African countries.
“We are committed to managing challenges related to migration, enhancing food, health, and energy security, and achieving sustainable development.
“We stress the importance of south-south cooperation as a key factor in facing the challenges and stakes posed at the international and regional levels.
“We emphasise the importance of strengthening cooperation between the House of Councilors and the Economic Community of West African States Parliament and investing all available opportunities and possibilities to consolidate and deepen this institutional parliamentary cooperation.
“This is especially by virtue of its diverse and rich composition that includes economic, socio-professional, trade union and territorial components, in promoting economic and trade relations and supporting investments between Morocco and West African countries,’’ the Parliament said.
It affirmed the centrality of the House of Councilors of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Parliament of ECOWAS in strengthening cooperation between Morocco and the countries of the ECOWAS.
The statement said the MoU also aimed at exchanging experiences and expertise in the fields of parliamentary work, regional issues and topics of common interest.
It emphasised the role of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening cooperation and unifying positions on bilateral and regional issues, as well as in examining ways to develop economic, commercial and human relations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Morocco announced its bid to join ECOWAS after its return to the African Union in 2017.
And while the country’s bid is still pending approval, there is widespread consensus that Morocco is a rising continental powerhouse whose membership will significantly benefit the West African bloc. (NAN)