Here is the full text of the message, read by Foreign Minister Sâad Dine El Othmani:
“Praise be to God
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Excellences, Loyal Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to send a message to you at the opening of this important gathering of our ambassadors, which is an appropriate setting for a thorough analysis of Moroccan diplomacy, through a close examination of its achievements, capacities and challenges.
It is also an opportunity for you to consult and coordinate with one another in order to identify the steps and initiatives which will define, in accordance with the guidelines I have provided you with, the course of Moroccan diplomatic action for the coming years, so as to enhance national diplomatic performance and thus the status of the Kingdom as an active, responsible player within the international community.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since my accession to the throne, I have developed a comprehensive, coherent diplomatic vision aimed at consolidating Morocco’s deeply-rooted cultural identity, while taking advantage of the country’s outstanding geo-strategic position. Not only is this vision in line with the nation’s immutable values, but it also adapts efficiently and skilfully to a complicated and ever-changing international environment, in which we have been witnessing a series of rapid events.
International geopolitics is still dealing with the reminiscence of World War II, while an emerging new world order has yet to establish itself.
Over the last few years, global issues affecting all countries and nations, as well as new powers and new actors, namely non-governmental organisations and multinational companies, have emerged. Centres for decision-making and influence, as well as specialised international regulation and coordination groups have multiplied at an unprecedented rate.
In the meantime, challenges have also increased, because of acute, large-scale, recurrent crises, which broke out simultaneously and had an impact on security and politics, economy and finance, as well as on environment and food security, and this has profoundly and negatively affected the situation in the world.
In the context of such huge regional and international changes, deep transformations and major crises, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has sought, in accordance with my guidelines, to draw the attention of neighbours and partners, on the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, to the country’s significant achievements and promote opportunities for cooperation with Morocco;
A country which, thanks be to God, enjoys security and stability, along with strong, developed institutions;
A country whose action is consistent with and fully integrates into the international context;
A country open to all partners, ready for cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and interests;
A country committed to the major choices it has made at the very early stages, and which are based on the consolidation of the rule of law and the irreversible principles of political pluralism and active involvement, in harmony with its traditions and values;
A country advocating peace and compliance with international law; a country keeping up with the times, committed to universal principles and ideals, as well as to the virtues of dialogue, consultation and persuasion;
A country that deeply values solidarity with sister and friendly nations, within the context of tangible South-South cooperation, as well as through diplomacy based on human resource development and effective participation in the United Nations’ peace-keeping operations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our national diplomacy action is based on a whole set of provisions stipulated in the Kingdom’s Constitution, as well as on guidelines I have provided successive governments with.
They are, first and foremost, based on continuous mobilisation to advocate Moroccan territorial integrity, from north to south, building on the positive developments in the Moroccan Sahara issue, particularly as the country now has the upper hand and deals more effectively with this crucial cause, thanks to the bold autonomy plan proposed for our southern provinces, which has gained growing, unfaltering international support.
In this regard, over the last few years and thanks to the justness of its cause and the fairness of its position, Morocco has managed to bring to light the fallacy of the separatist thesis and this has led many countries, one after the other, to withdraw their recognition of the pseudo republic.
As we insist on the importance of staying the course, we also need to face with strong determination all desperate attempts and manoeuvres, based on calumny and fabrication, led by adversaries of our national and territorial unity. This is a constant battle, particularly for our ambassadors who have to fight it by maintaining a high level of vigilance and working tirelessly at all levels in the countries where they are accredited.
The Moroccan diplomatic service also has to work in the same spirit to highlight and take advantage of national potential, to put Morocco in a position that is in line with its values and higher interests, as well as with the core trends in international relations.
In this connection, I call on our diplomatic service to do more in order to promote the Moroccan model, which is solid and rich thanks to the thorough reforms undertaken and the major development projects carried out in all fields, be they in the areas of human development, tourism or renewable energy, and also thanks to Morocco’s heritage as a country of openness and tolerance, as well as a land for cultural cohabitation and interaction.
Promoting the Moroccan label is not merely a slogan, but a strategic goal which will open up endless opportunities for cooperation in all fields.
To achieve such a goal, our government has to give priority to proactive economic diplomacy which is able to mobilise all available resources in order to develop partnerships, draw investment, enhance the country’s attractiveness, win new positions and improve foreign exchange.
I also call for consultation and coordination with all economic actors, both public and private, to promote the economic potential of our country, namely in promising productive sectors in order to contribute to their development, and establish institutional cooperation links with ministerial departments involved in economic activity at the international level.
I see our ambassadors as soldiers who should devote all their efforts to serving the economic interests of their country.
Cultural diplomacy should also be encouraged and backed, particularly through the creation of “Houses of Morocco” and cultural centres abroad, as well as the organisation of more artistic activities and exhibitions to promote the genuine Moroccan cultural heritage at the international level, along with its authentic, rich, plural and unified identity.
Admittedly, resources are limited. I therefore call for all forms of cooperation and partnership with the parties concerned to be adopted, in order to achieve the desired results.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
If the world today is witnessing more and more political, economic and cultural solidarity grouping, the construction of the Maghreb has regrettably stalled, in spite of all the conditions being in place and despite the strategic trend of our times and the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the region.
Convinced that all five countries of our region inevitably share the same destiny, I have always urged our diplomatic service to spare no effort to uphold Morocco’s commitment to building the Maghreb Union, which is considered a strategic choice and mentioned in the Constitution. I will continue working sincerely and in good faith for the emergence of a “new Maghreb order” that will rise above all sources of conflict.
While waiting for all the objective obstacles to be removed so that this sought-after regional integration becomes a reality, I urge our diplomatic service to strengthen our country’s ties with the other sister nations of the Maghreb region.
In loyal recognition of our belonging to the African continent and motivated by spiritual bonds and strategic interests, the visits I have paid to a several of African countries since 2000 have been devoted to strengthening our relations with sub-Saharan nations and putting them at the heart of the Moroccan diplomatic agenda, the ultimate objective being to uphold the values of solidarity, fraternity and African self-reliance.
Given the position and influence enjoyed by Morocco, I urge our diplomatic service to follow suit by developing bilateral relations with sub-Saharan countries and being an active player within the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), particularly in defining the bloc’s new mission, as well as by consolidating relations with African sub-regional organisations, especially in West and Central Africa.
I also call on the government to restart activities of the Conference of African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean as a regional organisation, based in Rabat at our request, and give it the means to carry out its mission as a tool which serves our relations with African sister nations. I ask our diplomatic service to take advantage of every available mechanism in this regard, such as the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, which should pursue effectively and tirelessly its mission to back up efforts directed towards strengthening our relations with the African continent.
At the Arab level, I am following with deep concern the difficult situation in which some sister nations find themselves today -at different degrees depending on their specific features and various stakes-, while political and institutional changes are taking place. I am however confident that these countries will manage to overcome the current difficult times through constructive dialogue and national reconciliation, within the framework of their national unity and the legitimate aspirations of their peoples.
Morocco will continue playing the role it has always assumed in laying the foundations for an Arab order based on solidarity and integration and will remain committed to supporting Arab and Islamic causes, mainly the Palestinian people’s struggle to establish its independent state, with al-Quds as its capital.
I also consider it to be of the utmost importance to develop distinguished relations with the Gulf Cooperation States, given my brotherly ties, based on mutual respect and understanding, with their leaders. Together, we are committed to consolidating the model strategic partnership we launched in 2011.
More efforts should also be made to strengthen and diversify our relations with the European Union and with all its member states, with whom we are proud to have ties based on fruitful cooperation and solid friendship, and thus actually implement the advanced status granted to the Kingdom in 2008.
Furthermore, the Moroccan diplomatic service will have to do its utmost to strengthen the Kingdom’s relations with sister nations and friendly countries in other continents and geographic areas, within the framework of a proactive policy aimed at diversifying and enlarging the scope of our international cooperation.
Those include countries with high economic potential and political influence with which we have signed strategic partnerships. In this regard, we greatly appreciate the historical friendship and beneficial cooperation between Morocco and the United States of America, but we are also keen to consolidate our strategic partnership to serve our mutual interests and bring support to just causes around the globe.
They also include other developing countries with which we have managed to open a new chapter, such as the Caribbean and Oceania states.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Morocco, as a nation steeped in history, has long-standing diplomatic traditions abiding by clearly defined rules. Much has no doubt been achieved, thanks to the competence, devotion and untiring efforts of our diplomatic staff, men and women alike, but, as I have often said, we need to develop a dynamic parliamentary, civil and local diplomacy, especially as now, parliament, civil society and local communities all have a constitutional status.
In a world that has transformed parliaments, political parties, non-governmental organisations, the media, along with cultural and academic actors into centres of power and influence, institutional efforts are no longer sufficient. I urge our ambassadors to communicate more with those new actors in the international arena and encourage contacts between them and their peers in Morocco.
I also ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in its search for the necessary analysis and conceptual tools that will enable it to understand the rapid changes occurring in the world, anticipate them better and serve national interests, to take advantage of the expertise and competences available at the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies.
Similarly, I call on the Institute to collaborate with the Ministry and devote more effort to diplomacy and issues related to Morocco’s international relations in all fields – political, economic, social, cultural and environmental.
As part of our unwavering interest in the Moroccan community abroad, I urge you to keep up your efforts to safeguard the rights of its members, as well as their social and legal benefits and improve the services offered to them so that they match those provided by host countries, both in terms of competence and transparency.
To achieve all these goals and carry out the various national diplomatic duties in the best way possible, it is nonetheless necessary to provide human resources with adequate training, optimise available assets management and adopt precise procedures and working methods.
In this regard, I commend the positive results achieved over the last decade, namely the amendment of the human resources regulations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the development of a new organisation chart, the implementation of an in-service training scheme, the creation of the Moroccan Diplomatic Studies Academy in 2011, along with initiatives aimed at promoting the role of female diplomats, extending the network of diplomatic and consular missions abroad, and the general use of information technology and multimedia systems. However, I call for more sustained efforts, more motivation for our diplomatic staff, in order to give them more confidence and make them more aware of their duties, as well as for an innovative approach to build more efficiently on current achievements and to consolidate them.
The experience and expertise gained by our diplomatic service constantly open up prospects for further capacity-building and innovation, in line with Morocco’s position and authenticity, in order to transform it into an active and anticipatory service, with clear targets and an accurate understanding of the world around us, using an avant-garde approach.
I wish you every success in your conference, in which I take special interest –just as I do in diplomacy and in diplomats- and which has been placed accordingly under my patronage, and urge all of you to keep up your efforts, pool your ideas and initiatives, both as individuals and as a group, to enhance the level of Moroccan diplomacy, in order to reach not only the highest degree of professionalism, but also to attain global distinction. Your strong will, your love for your country and your permanent mobilisation will be your arms for achieving these objectives.
Rise to the challenge of the responsibility incumbent upon you and the noble mission with which you are entrusted, with the required efficiency and celerity. Be as close as you can to the decision-making circles, as well to the active and driving forces in the countries where you are accredited. Set the networks of friendship and solidarity that I have been striving to establish in motion.
May God assist you and grant you success.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.
King of Morocco