Morocco, Mauritania sign transport deal
By Bakari Guèye for Magharebia in Nouakchott - 05/09/12
Mauritania and Morocco last week signed an agreement, which allows their national air companies to perform weekly flights between the two capitals.
The accord was the result of a three-day visit by Moroccan Transportation Minister Abdelaziz Rebbah to Nouakchott, which ended on Friday (August 31st).
The document "represents a fair share" between Mauritania Airways and Royal Air Maroc, according to the final communique. The majority of connections have until now been offered by the Moroccan company.
"The complementarity between the economies of both countries is such that it will help strengthen this co-operation, which is needed to face the challenges of the present time and the future, in accordance with the directives of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz," the minister said after meeting with Ould Abdel Aziz on August 29th.
He called for a "strategic partnership" in infrastructure projects, which "offer promising prospects for bilateral co-operation".
Morocco is determined to boost collaboration "between government departments and the private sector in the two countries across all fields, including infrastructure and transport, working to set up programmes and projects to serve the interests of both neighbouring countries and brother peoples", according to Rebbah.
The minister expressed delight at "the quality of exchanges between the two parties across all areas of the transportation sector, from ports to airports, and from logistics to professional training".
He called on experts from both countries to work "seriously and responsibly" on examining various joint projects and opportunities for growth.
"The Mauritanian president displayed great readiness and determination to consolidate our bilateral co-operation and by building on the common culture and destiny arising from the secular ties which bind Morocco and Mauritania together, so as to serve the interests of both countries and both peoples," Rebbah commented after meeting with Ould Abdel Aziz.
For his part, Mauritanian Transportation Minister Yahya Ould Haddemine expressed hope that the visit would "breathe new life into bilateral co-operation across these fields, particularly in terms of technical assistance".
Experts from both delegations spent two days working to develop common programmes and projects.
The ministers on August 29th visited the construction site of the New Nouakchott International Airport (NAIN), 30km away from the road to Nouadhibou.
NAIN has two runways, a waiting room for passengers and a number of associated services. It has an annual capacity of more than two million passengers.
"The prospects are good for trade with Morocco," estimated economist Ball Mohamed. "Morocco opened up a road in 2005 between the Moroccan border and Nouakchott. And since traffic is the best indicator of the importance of a road, approximately 1,000 vehicles cross the border between Morocco and Mauritania every day, including more than a hundred lorries."
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