ASTANA – A delegation of Moroccan parliamentarians headed by Speaker of Morocco’s House of Councillors Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah visited Astana on April 23. The visit came at the invitation of Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Jomart Tokayev. This is the first visit Moroccan representatives have paid Kazakhstan since establishing diplomatic relations in 1992.
The Senate press service stressed Morocco’s importance to Kazakhstan as an example of tourism development. Morocco’s stability, geographical position and highly developed infrastructure draw more than 10 million tourists to the country each year. Europeans make up the largest chunk of visitors.
Tokayev expressed confidence that this visit would boost further mutually beneficial Kazakh-Moroccan cooperation. The speakers agreed to promote the development of interparliamentary cooperation. Tokayev also explained the new Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy and invited his Moroccan counterparts to take part in the upcoming exhibition, EXPO 2017, in Astana.
Inter-religious dialogue is another promising field for mutual cooperation. Tokayev, who heads the Secretariat of the Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, said he hoped to see King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the next session in 2015.
“Kazakhstan highly values efforts made by the Moroccan king to promote successful inter-religious dialogue within the state. That is why our countries could act together, bringing new initiatives to the world to bring peace and tolerance between Muslim and Western communities,” Tokayev explained.
During the briefing, Biadillah noted the significant contribution made by Kazakhstan to improve cooperation between Asia and Europe. The parliamentarian also mentioned Kazakhstan’s stable development over recent years.
“Both the President of Kazakhstan … and King of Morocco Mohammed VI put great emphasis on international and regional stability. Apart from that, they also promote dialogue between civilisations and world religions on the international scene. Such dialogue promotes international security,” Biadillah said.
During the visit, the Moroccan delegation met students from the Eurasian National University and visited the Museum of the First President in Astana.
According to Kazakhstan’s National Statistics Agency, the total volume of commodity circulation between Kazakhstan and Morocco comprised $86 million in the past year. Total exports were $73 million; imports, $13 million. Kazakhstan exported chemical products and sulphur to Morocco, among other goods. Morocco exported citrus fruits to Kazakhstan. High-priority sectors including alternative energy sources and agriculture were among those named as possible areas of expanded cooperation.