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Official visit to Rabat, 1–2 March 2013

Karim Ghellab, Speaker of the Lower House of the Moroccan Parliament, and José Manuel Barroso

The Moroccan Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, other Moroccan Government officials, and President Barroso held discussions on the following subjects: internal affairs, bilateral relations and the geopolitical situation in the region. The launch of negotiations on a new Free Trade Agreement was also announced. 

Following his meeting with the Moroccan Head of Government, President Barroso praised the political, economic and social reforms made in accordance with the Moroccan Constitution and the legitimate aspirations of the Moroccan people.

The President of the European Commission also explained that Morocco is a strategic partner of the European Union; he added that bilateral relations, which are based on a special statute, are excellent, and will soon develop further with the negotiation and introduction of a Free Trade Agreement. 

‘Relations between the EU and Morocco have also recently taken a new direction as a result of the political agreement on the Mobility Partnership, which aims to ensure proper management of the movement of persons between our borders. We are launching negotiations today on an Agreement to facilitate the procedures for issuing visas for certain categories of people, specifically students, researchers and business men and women’, he said.

Today, the European Union and Morocco also signed a financing memorandum for EUR 25 million in the form of grants for combating poverty in 885 rural communities in Morocco. 

Lastly, President Barroso promised closer cooperation and greater political dialogue with Morocco on international issues, in particular on the subject of integration of the Maghreb and the security of the region.

Read the full President's speech

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