Morocco became the first North African country to be given the Sectoral Dialogue Partner status by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The decision was announced today during a meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers from ASEAN member countries in Jakarta.
The decision to grant Morocco the “Sectoral Dialogue Partner Status” represents a “resounding endorsement” of the vision laid out by King Mohammed VI, whose diversification of partnerships and embracing of new geopolitical opportunities has been “instrumental” in the decisions, an official statement says.
The statement added that the status also highlights the international acknowledgment of Morocco’s role as a stabilizing force in both Africa and the Arab world.
The preliminary agreement to extend the status to Morocco was first revealed during the 56th Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in July 2023. Today’s announcement formalizes that commitment.
Morocco formally became a part of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in September 2016.
On August 8, during a celebration of the 56th anniversary of founding ASEAN in Rabat, Hasrul Azwar, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Morocco, emphasized that ASEAN is dedicating efforts this year to enhance its connections with Morocco.
He explained that Morocco has recently become a dialogue partner for ASEAN, which is expected to strengthen political, educational, economic, and cultural ties between the two parties.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Morocco Thi Thu Ha equally asserted that the relationship between Morocco and ASEAN is now closer than ever, especially since the establishment of the ASEAN Committee in Rabat in 2015.
In addition to joining the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 2016, Morocco was also granted observer status in the Association’s Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in 2020 and became an associate member of the Association of ASEAN Ministers of Education in 2021.
Thi Thu Ha expressed confidence that this partnership will bolster multifaceted cooperation between the two parties, highlighting ASEAN’s pivotal role in Southeast Asia and Morocco’s strategic geographical location as a gateway to Africa.
She added that Morocco’s status as a Sector Dialogue Partner with ASEAN underscores the forward-thinking vision of King Mohammed VI in strengthening relations between Morocco and the Association.