Morocco, France Share Legitimacy, Responsibility to Lead Reflection on Reviving UfM – Bourita

Morocco and France share the legitimacy and a common responsibility to lead the reflection on reviving the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), affirmed Nasser Bourita, Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates, on Monday in Rabat. "Morocco and France must work together to revive the UfM, which is currently in a state of lethargy," highlighted Bourita during a joint press conference with the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Séjourné, following their talks. Recalling that Morocco and France played a key role in the launch of this institution, Bourita noted that the Kingdom has embodied the UfM through two successive secretaries-general and is currently "the only southern country contributing financially to the Union's budget, not to mention being the country that has submitted the most projects to be labeled UfM." After enumerating the multitude of crises, open or latent conflicts in the region, the minister pointed out the "geopolitics of fear and rejection that prevails, sometimes with dangerous shortcuts, starting with migratory pressures," within the Mediterranean, which impacts the functioning of the UfM. The minister gave the example of agricultural products from the South facing multiple attacks, while the EU benefits significantly to the detriment of Morocco. The same observation applies to free trade, where the EU achieves a surplus of 10 billion euros. In the same context, he highlighted the "hesitant strategy" of the European Union towards its neighborhood, stating that this posture could hinder any revival of the Euro-Mediterranean process. Bourita finally advocated for the member countries of the UfM to take control of their destiny, away from the financial control of the European Commission, urging Southern countries to assume their responsibility for the revival of this institution. Source: Agency Morocaine De Presse