Mottley in Morocco to forge closer links
- by Barbados Today
June 22, 2019
June 22, 2019
Prime Minister Mia Mottley has signalled her intention to forge deep ties with countries outside of North America and Europe.
The latest effort saw a delegation of government officials and key business figures meet in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, where the Prime Minister, along with Foreign Minister Senator Dr Jerome Walcott, pledged to good relations with the North African nation.
Mottley said: “Traditionally, Barbados has had a destiny that has looked north and has looked to the Caribbean region.
“But we believe we have an obligation to our citizens to be able to bridge the Atlantic and not to view the Atlantic crossing as that which only reflected an unfortunate episode in our history when slaves were brought across in the middle passage.”
In a joint news conference with Moroccan Foreign Minister Abdelkrim Benatiq on Friday, Mottley lauded Morocco as a key African hub and urged Rabat to view Bridgetown as a gateway to Caribbean and Latin American markets.
Mottley vowed deeper cooperation in numerous sectors including tourism, maritime affairs, fisheries, renewable energy, health, education and heritage preservation.
“Both countries have the opportunity to work with each other but more importantly, we have a similar approach to global affairs. We are rooted in the same values and we believe we have a common mission and purpose with respect to how we want to develop our people,” she said.
The meeting is the second with representatives of an African government in the space of a week.
Last Friday, the Prime Minister and president of Ghana, Nana Akufu-Addo held talks for more than two hours at Ilaro Court. They later revealed a plan for Ghana to supply nearly 400 nurses to Barbados.
At the more recent meeting in Rabat, Mottley revealed that leading business figures in tax and accounting had come to Morocco to start exploring “business solutions”. A number of meetings with Moroccan ministers and private sector officials would continue into the weekend, she added.
Mottley praised the Moroccan government for its stance on climate change and global warming, as well as its commitment to religious and social tolerance.
The Prime Minister said: “We trust and believe that the projection of this commitment to an Atlantic destiny for my nation, which is the first land mass that you meet after you cross the Atlantic is really and truly fulfilling a historical imperative in the 21st Century.
“We also believe in a peaceful world that is borne of tolerance and that will allow for diversity, particularly with religious tolerance.
“That is one that both our countries support and our voices therefore have relevance in the world together because together we are stronger when we make the same points, borne of the same values at a time when the world needs to hear our voice more than ever on religious tolerance and diversity and in the battle against climate change, which is having negative consequences for too many of our people.”
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