Diplomat underscores shared political values between Morocco, European states
Morocco-Italy, Politics, 3/30/1999
A Moroccan diplomat underscored at a session of the Italian Parliament that Morocco is not only an economic partner, but it also shares political values with European states.
During a session of the Italian parliament's foreign committee on a draft law to set up a parliamentary committee for the implementation and development of Euro-Mediterranean initiatives, Moroccan ambassador to Italy, Zine El Abidine Sebti, said Morocco relies on Europe's support to improve access of its products to European markets, alleviate its external debt burden and create conditions to increase the volume of external investments.
The ambassador went on that the creation of a free-trade area between the European Union and south Mediterranean countries requires a new balance in cooperation, mainly regarding agricultural and industrial products. He cited the obstacles facing Moroccan agriculture products that compromise, and sometimes cancel, concessions granted by the association agreement signed between Morocco and the European Union.
This situation harms Moroccan economy, especially as major efforts are underway to improve Morocco's economic and administrative performance and to consolidate the rule of law, the diplomat said.
Turning to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, Sebti told the Italian lawmakers that the Barcelona process is presently losing its credibility, as it was stressed by Mediterranean foreign ministers at a meeting held in Malta early this month. The session had also stressed the need to promote productive investments and reconsider the MEDA mechanism in view of its red-tape and selectivity.
The Moroccan diplomat further called the Italian parliament to ratify the Moroccan-EU association agreement, before next April's Mediterranean conference of Stuttgart.
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