Zapatero underlines the contribution of peace on several levels thanks to the Spain-Morocco relationship

The former president of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, promoter of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in 2004, said on Tuesday in Fez that the relationship between Morocco and Spain is “fundamental” and ” promotes peace, the Mediterranean, Africa and Europe”.

In a press conference given on the sidelines of the inaugural conference of the Private University of Fez (UPF), under the theme “Dialogue and peace as a political imperative”, Mr. Zapatero stressed that the two Kingdoms “have a great responsibility” and are dedicated to a better future with “a great cultural, political and economic relationship”.

The changes and modernization efforts that Morocco has experienced in recent years carry a message of hope, he said, adding that friendship, conviviality and diversity “make people progress”, while isolation “provokes moments of aggression”.

Mr. Zapatero pleaded for “strengthening the links between the civil societies of the two countries to move forward together while thinking of Africa”.

Regarding economic relations between Spain and Morocco, he said that his country is “almost Morocco’s first partner” and bilateral trade relations “are consolidating over the days”.

Opening this inaugural conference, the president of the UPF, Mohamed Aziz Lahlou indicated that this meeting is an annual opportunity to receive scientific, cultural and political personalities to share their visions with students and the public, adding that ” our time is like its previous ones full of crises, violence and doubt, hence the need for reflection and exchange”.

After recalling that this inaugural conference coincides with the holding in Fez of the 9th forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), under the theme “Towards an alliance of peace: Living together as one humanity”, Mr. Lahlou indicated that the concomitance of these two events “consolidates the policy of the university which places culture at the heart of its development project”.

Within the university, he observed, “we advocate higher education underpinned by the mission of developing culture and disseminating knowledge and research results, and whose mission is to contribute to the debate of ideas and the meeting of cultures”.

Mr. Zapatero is taking part in the work of the UNAOC forum (November 22-23 in Fez), with the aim of strengthening dialogue and cooperation between communities, cultures and civilizations.

Co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita and the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Angel Moratinos, this event is attended by many prominent personalities including the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

A thousand participants between official delegations belonging to the group of countries and organizations friends of the alliance, civil society, actors in the field of action of the alliance, academics, young professionals and students take part in this forum.

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