King is Commander of All Believers, Not Just Muslims: King Mohammed…

Rabat – Earlier this week, King Mohammed VI dispelled concerns fanned by the Malagasy Christian community that new Moroccan investments in Madagascar would exclusively to the benefit of the country’s Muslim community.“The king [in Moroccan culture] is the Commander of Believers, believers of all religions,” the monarch said in an en exclusive interview with the Malagasy press – the first of its kind in eleven years.The Moroccan leader also said the new investments did not represent an attempt to proselytize Islam in the East African country, where Muslims are in the minority. “I want to dispel any ambiguity” the rumors claiming that these projects only benefit the Muslim community are totally false,” Mohammed VI said. “These projects are, of course, for the whole population.”Morocco’s royal companies, combined under the Societe Nationale d’Investissement (SNI), have several active development projects in foreign countries as part of the king’s South-South cooperation model for African economic growth.“We give and share, without arrogance or sense of colonization,” he said. “It is to realize this model of inter-African cooperation that I frequently move around in the continent – the continent where I feel good.”Mohammed VI has spent a large part of the past two months travelling to East African countries – Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania, to name a few – fostering private and public sector partnerships to ramp up support for Morocco’s reinstitution in the African Union (AU).“All countries…particularly in East Africa, are unanimous in supporting the reintegration of Morocco to the African Union,” the monarch, who announced his country’s return to the continental organization after over 40 years of absence, added.The king clarified that he had not specified political preconditions for investing in fellow African countries, but welcomed the gratitude he received once cooperation agreements and contracts were signed.Last week, the Moroccan firm Marshica Med Ltd. signed an agreement with the Malagasy government to oversee the rehabilitation of the 700-kilometer Canal des Pangalanes.In addition, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Aziz Akhannouch confirmed that an educational exchange program between Morocco and Madagascar on agricultural marketing techniques would begin in the next few months.


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