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    Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to Visit Morocco on October 10-11

    10 Oct 2017

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev will be landing in Rabat on October 10 for a two day official visit to the kingdom.

    Responding to Saad Eddine El Othmani’s invitation, Medvedev’s visit will come days after his arrival in Algeria, where he is supposed to meet Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

    According to the official website of the Russian Government, Medvedev will be conducting a number of meetings with his Moroccan counterpart, as well as King Mohammed VI, to discuss a number of topics regarding cooperation in various fields.

    A number of intergovernmental, interdepartmental, and corporate agreements and documents are being prepared for signing during the visit.

    As an important exporter of agricultural goods to Russia, Morocco is trying to consolidate its position as a leading Arab and African market and expand its offers to other more promising sectors. Between 2011 and 2015, trade between the two countries increased from USD 200 million to USD 2.5 billion.

    According to Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, the energy sector will be at the heart of this visit, especially since two Russian companies are participating in the design of the future Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline.

    Medvedev will be accompanied by a delegation of Russian businessmen who will have to negotiate with their Moroccan counterparts in the sectors of industry, agriculture, and tourism and culture, according to the Russian Embassy in Rabat.

    Back in July, Bourita announced Medvedev’s visit while attending the sixth session of the Morocco-Russia Joint Committee in Moscow. The two countries consolidated their rapprochement during the royal visit to Moscow to form economic alliances and seek new supports on the question of Western Sahara, especially because Russia, a member of the Security Council, has veto power.

    Algeria First

    Medvedev’s announced visit will come a day after that of Algeria. The Russian Prime Minister landed in Algers this Monday October 9, answering the Algerian invitation to negotiate on cooperation in energy, trade, and humanitarian aid, said the press release from the Russian Government.

    “We are considering signing several partnership agreements in different areas. We have the opportunity to significantly increase the volume of trade in the coming years through new areas of work,” Medvedev told Algeria Press Agency on the eve of his trip to Algeria.

    The volume of Russian-Algerian trade reached nearly 4 billion dollars in 2016. The Russian Prime Minister said in this regard that “it is already good enough, but we must make more progress.” Medvedev explained that future economic agreements will target, among others, the nuclear energy sector, the agro-food industry, resource extraction, maritime transport, the hightech and space industry, construction, and the pharmaceuticals industry. Russia is also ready to consider projects for generating clean electricity with wind or solar installations.

    The economic cooperation linking the two countries are still mainly dominated by arms deals. Russia accounts for around 80 percent of Algerian arms imports, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates Algeria to be the third-largest recipient of Russian arms from 2007-2016.

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