FILE: Cairo Tower was lit up with the colors of the Moroccan flag after its loss of the 2026 World Cup hosting right to the tri-nation of the United States of America, Canada and Mexico. FILE: Cairo Tower was lit up with the colors of the Moroccan flag after its loss of the 2026 World Cup hosting right to the tri-nation of the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.

A Look at Egyptian-Moroccan historical relations

Sun, Jun. 17, 2018
CAIRO – 17 June 2018: Despite Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid loss; Egypt has shown unremitting support to its African and Arab-speaking counterpart’s candidacy to host the global event.

In solidarity with Morocco’s candidacy, Cairo Tower was lit up with the colors of the Moroccan flag after its loss of the 2026 World Cup hosting right to the tri-nation of the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, asserted that Egypt's stance on the Morrocan candidacy to host 2026 World Cup reflects the deep seated relations between the two peoples and leaderships characterized with mutual understanding and friendship.

In light of the above, Egypt Today provides a quick look at the historical relations between the two friendly African and Arab-speaking states.

Booming trade exchange:

Trade exchange between Egypt and Morocco has notably improved over the last period, though it is still below potential, Osama Geneidy, board member of the Egyptian-Moroccan Businessmen Association, announced earlier in April.

He further said that trade between both countries could be easily boosted in light of a great potential, adding that trade exchange between Egypt and Morocco stands at $700 million, of which $400 million are Egypt’s exports.

Geneidy said that the association has organized two visits to Morocco, which resulted in several meetings with Moroccan businessmen and the signing of a protocol agreement with Morocco’s Trade and Industry Chamber.


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President Sisi meets (C) with Speaker of the Moroccan House of Representatives Al-Habib Al-Malki (the second from left)- press photo
He added that Moroccan businessmen are following up on Egypt’s reform measures that aim at encouraging investment.

Karim Heikal, another board member of the Egyptian-Moroccan Businessmen Association, said that the association has put forward plans with all parties in Egypt and Morocco to develop economic relations between both states.

He added that the Moroccan side is very keen to boost trade exchange with Egypt in all fields.

In an official state visit to Egypt last April, speaker of the Moroccan House of Representatives Al-Habib Al-Malki paid a visit to Cairo on Tuesday, where he met with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the then-Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal.

In 2004, Egypt signed Agadir Agreement which is a free trade agreement between four Arab countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The agreement, which came in force in 2007, helped to enhance the trade exchange between these four countries.

Investments:

Moroccan investments in Egypt are noticeably growing, with several Egyptian investments already set up in Morocco; recently, an Egyptian-led candy factory in Casablanca was flagged off last year.

Last year, an Egyptian-Moroccan working group was formed to promote bilateral economic cooperation in a number of specific sectors, as well as to address challenges hindering the flow of trade between Egypt and Morocco.

Morocco is the 40th largest foreign investor in Egypt, with total investments amounting to $80 million.

Egypt's stance on the issue of Moroccan Western Sahara

Given the fact that the Moroccan Western conflict Sahara issue is a matter of life or death for the Moroccans, and Egypt has maintained a clear position in support of the Moroccan’ sovereign right to annex the Western Desert, that was reflected in the words of Egypt's Ambassador to Rabat Ashraf Ibrahim, who said in official statements after taking office earlier this year that Cairo is "committed to the territorial integrity of Morocco and supporting the international solution to the Western Sahara issue and the Moroccan autonomy plan.”

Long-standing cultural confluence

In Egypt, there are still places and streets that retain the names of Moroccan tribes such as Zouila, Qatamiya, Bataniya, Berqia and others since Egypt has been the main gate through which Moroccan pilgrims can pass through to make it to the scared land.

Egyptian singing icons like Abdul Halim Hafez and 'Star of the East' Umm Kalthum have found their way to the hearts of the Moroccan kings such as the late King Hassan and his father Mohammed V, who spotted several times attending Kalthum's concerts at the Opera House.

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Late Moroccan Sultan Mohammed V shakes hands with Umm Khulthum at Cairo Opera House in 1960

Gamal Abdel Nasser, the late Egyptian leader threw his weight behind Mohammed V of Morocco and the liberation of the kingdom from the French colonist. Both leaders conjointly laid the foundation stone of the High Dam in Aswan in 1960.

In addition, Morocco has played a prominent role in getting the headquarter of the Arab League to Egypt; following the signing of the Camp David peace agreement, Casablanca hosted an Arab summit which prioritized the return of the Arab League to Egypt.

Also, Egypt and Morocco are members of a number of international organizations, including the Arab League, African Union, GAFTA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.





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