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    Macron to Visit Morocco Next Week to Launch LGV with King Mohammed VI

    08 Nov 2018

    Macron and the King will inaugurate Morocco’s high-speed train next week, a source from the Elysee Palace told Reuters.

    The train was originally scheduled to be finished in 2015 but was later postponed to 2017. After a series of delays, however, the project was set to complete in the fall of 2018 and will finally launch next week.

    Quoting the presidency, Reuters reported that the LGV is a “flagship project of the bilateral relationship” between the two countries.

    The first of its kind in Africa, the 200-kilometer long LGV will link Casablanca and Tangier in two hours and 15 minutes instead of the usual 5 hour train ride.

    Several French companies collaborated in the construction and furnishing of the LGV, including SNCF, Alstom, Cegelec, and Ansaldo-Ineo.

    King Mohammed VI and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the project in 2007. Construction was launched four years later in 2011.

    The project cost €2 billion. According to BFMTV, the French government “is engaged in financing 51 percent through various loans, including one granted by the French development agency of 220 million euros. This cost represents a budget approximately 15% higher than the initial estimate of 1.8 billion euros, calculated in 2007 at the launch of the project.”

    Morocco received a loan of €80 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund the last segment of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed train project in October 2017.

    AFD’s loan followed the French agency’s initial grant of €220 million in 2011 to begin the project. Morocco and France maintain strong diplomatic ties. In the latest expression of the relationship, a French official applauded French-Moroccan cooperation on October 31.

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