Barbados has urged Morocco to use the island as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean as Bridgetown sought to deepen its relationship with rabat.
“Both countries have the opportunity to work with each other but more importantly, we have a similar approach to global affairs. We are rooted in the same values and we believe we have a common mission and purpose with respect to how we want to develop our people,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said.
Mottley, who is leading a delegation that includes Foreign Minister Dr Jerome Walcott and private sector officials, said Bridgetown was seeking to further deepen its relationship with the North African country.
“We see this as an opportunity to bridge the Atlantic for both of our countries…and traditionally, Barbados has had a destiny that has looked north and has looked to the Caribbean region.
“But we believe we have an obligation to our citizens to be able to bridge the Atlantic and not to view the Atlantic crossing as that which only reflected an unfortunate episode in our history when slaves were brought across in the middle passage,” she told a joint news conference Foreign Minister Abdelkrim Benatiq.
“We feel that both countries, Morocco and Barbados, represent each other, a beach head and hub for unlocking of opportunities, not only at the national level but at the regional levels for both of us.
“For us we see Morocco as a hub and a beach head in Africa, Northern Africa and the Arab states. For you, we hope you will see Barbados as a hub, not only for the Caribbean, but for Latin America and Central America and indeed North America because of our location,” she said, adding “I do believe that the opportunities for deep cooperation be it in the area of tourism, be it maritime affairs…be it in the area of renewable energy…health, education and training…that both countries have the opportunity to learn from each other”.
She said both countries have a “similar approach to global affairs…rooted in the same values and we believe we have a common purpose and mission with respect to how we want to develop our people”.
Mottley said that the Barbados private sector had come to Morocco to start exploring “business solutions,” and that a number of meeting, including those with government ministers would take place this weekend.
She praised the Moroccan government for its stance on climate change and global warming, as well as its commitment to religious and social tolerance.
“We trust and believe that the projection of this commitment to an Atlantic destiny for my nation, which is the first land mass that you meet after you cross the Atlantic is really and truly fulfilling a historical imperative in the 21st Century.
“We also believe in a peaceful world that is borne of tolerance and that will allow for diversity, particularly with religious tolerance.
“That is one that both our countries support and our voices therefore have relevance in the world together because together we are stronger when we make the same points, borne of the same values at a time when the world needs to hear our voice more than ever on religious tolerance and diversity and in the battle against climate change, which is having negative consequences for too many of our people,’ Mottley added.