Moroccan autonomy plan, the only option on the table (Liam Fox, British MP)

On a visit to Morocco from 31 May to 3 June as part of support and promotion of the Abrahamic Agreement, a delegation of British parliamentarians met with Moroccan officials. Médias24 spoke to Dr. Liam Fox, Chairman of the UK Abraham Accords Group, which was created in July 2021.

He explains the purpose of the visit, as well as the prospects for the development of diplomatic and commercial relations between Morocco, the United Kingdom and Israel, thanks to the political and economic achievements of the Abrahamic Agreement. It also lays out the need for explicit recognition of the Sahara to Morocco by the British government, friend and historical ally of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Medias24: UK What are the objectives of the Abraham Accord Group? How do you see London’s role in supporting and promoting the pace of the Abrahamic Agreement?

Dr. Liam Fox : Our group was established at the request of the governments of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Its purpose is to support and promote the Abrahamic Agreement in Britain and elsewhere. We see this as an opportunity to change the way we think in this area; Which, by creating widespread prosperity and political stability, will allow us to consider alternative political solutions instead of being trapped in the harsh conditions we have endured for decades.

– How do you see the role of parliamentary diplomacy in advancing its objectives? Have you planned concrete actions or mechanisms with your Moroccan counterparts?

– we had yesterday [mercredi 1er juin], lengthy and valuable discussions with the President of Parliament, among others. We discussed some of the ways we can accelerate the law business need to start making changes in this area. Some may be regulatory, others may be legislative in BTOB relations, while others are still practical, such as ways to encourage governments to speed up the visa system to facilitate travel.

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So it is at all levels, that is, the executive and parliament, that everyone has a role to play in realizing the ambitions of the Abrahamic Agreement.

This is the first visit of UK Abraham Accords Group to Morocco. What is your impression of your meetings with the Moroccan authorities?

– very positive. I think there is a real desire in Morocco to use the Abrahamic Agreement as well as bilateral relations with the United Kingdom to reaffirm this place as a gateway to Africa, in terms of trade. Morocco is geographically well located; In the south of Europe, in the west of North Africa. It is the gateway to the rest of Africa. It is a country with a long history in international trade, and Israel has a unique history in terms of its relationship with the Jewish population. On almost every level, Morocco is ideally placed To take advantage of the changes currently taking place.

– The restoration of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, through the Tripartite Agreement, which also supports the Abrahamic Agreement, has opened up many investment opportunities. between the two countries. How can they develop within the framework of the Moroccan-UK-Israel trilateral relationship?

We have made it clear that we are ready to provide any help to move the process forward. But looking at the discussions we have had, we see that Morocco does not need assistance in this area. He has already entered into diplomatic relations with Israel. Strong business relationships have been established. Many Israeli businesses have settled in Morocco. On the contrary, I think we need to see more Moroccan businesses settling in Israel. Investment should come from both sides.

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Due to Moroccan history, a strong personal bond exists between the two peoples, in a way not seen between any other country in the region, especially with Israel.

Morocco and the United Kingdom share a long history of more than eight centuries. The two sovereigns head the religious authorities of their respective countries, with the institution of the Commanderie des Believers in Morocco, which has played an essential role in the tradition of religious coexistence. How do you see this particular tradition and its role in efforts for peace and prosperity in the region?

What happened in both the cases is none other than the foundation of stability. In this region, Morocco is an incredibly stable nation.

If you look at the instability surrounding the Arab Spring, Morocco was the country that resisted best. I think the vision of His Majesty and his government to work on the Abrahamic Agreement is far-sighted. And I also think that people will pay a huge dividend and put in a reasonable effort to make it work.

In the UK we have had a long period of stability of parliamentary democracy for centuries. Both countries share this Atlantic attitude towards the world. I think it is the combination of internal stability with this vision of a larger global future that unites the two countries.

Rabat and London are natural partners in more ways than one because of the convergence of perspectives on diplomatic issues. How can these two countries strengthen their bilateral cooperation to raise it to the level of strategic partnership?

– From the Abraham Accord perspective, I think we need to work together to ensure tangible benefits to the economy for the economic efforts that the Abraham Accords represent.

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This means being able to move people, capital and business more freely. The UK can help because we have a huge service economy. We have a lot of skills in our economy that can help Morocco move faster into the next economic phase. I think given our particular strengths and our work as partners, we can be synergistic and mutually beneficial.

Prior to the Abrahamic Agreement, this was possible at the bilateral level, but not in the context of wider ties in the region. So this is an era where we can look to the future with more optimism if we manage to take advantage of economic opportunities.

– Given the historical facts and the need to guarantee peace in the region, is it not time to explicitly recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara region?

– I want the UK to take a more forward-thinking approach. I think the first thing to do is see autonomy scheme, which is serious. I think, in relation to The only option on the table is the future.

I would like to see this process move more quickly so that instead of ending up in a very lengthy international process, which is often an excuse not to achieve our results, we can achieve a beneficial outcome.

I believe there is an international momentum in this direction and that The Moroccan government has many friends, including the United Kingdom.whom he can rely on to take this process forward. This visit will be encouraging for the British Government to move rapidly in this direction.

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