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10/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Senate creates Brazil-Morocco Parliamentary Group

Senators convened this Wednesday to establish the entity, presided over by senator Cristovam Buarque. The goal is to build ties between the countries’ legislative powers.

São Paulo – Brazilian senators established this Wednesday afternoon (9) in the Federal Senate, Brasília (DF) the Brazil-Morocco Parliamentary Group, tasked with encouraging bilateral relations between the legislative powers of the two countries. Originally propositioned in 2015, the “friendship group,” as those attending the meeting called it, elected senator Cristovam Buarque for its president.

“The world has gone global, but parliaments are still too local. We will need to build our relations and our contact further and further,” said Buarque, who stressed the close ties that Brazil sustains with the North African country.

The executive board also comprises senators Ana Amélia and Jorge Viana as vice presidents and Antonio Anastasia, Armando Monteiro and e José Agripino as secretaries. Acir Gurgacz, Fernando Collor, Roberto Requião and Wilder Morais are also members of the group. All senators are free to join up.

Collor, who presides over the Senate’s External Relations and National Defense Commission (Comissão de Relações Exteriores e Defesa Nacional - CRE), presided over the meeting. He travelled to Morocco last month to convene with senators, who pledged to visit their counterparts in Brazil this year. “This should happen in October or November, maybe concurrently with the visit of foreign minister Nasser Bourita to Brazil,” the senator said.

The Moroccan FM is slated to visit Brazil in early November to resume technical talks for a Morocco-Mercosur trade agreement.

Morocco’s ambassador in Brasília, Nabil Adghoghi, who attended the meeting, said the African country wishes to move forward with the agreement. “We hope to reach a free-trade agreement soon with the Mercosur. We cannot turn our backs on a market as promising as this one,” after noting that Morocco’s bilateral agreements include the European Union, Turkey, Gulf countries and the United States.

The two countries are expected to enter into agreements in defense and education as well, in addition to the Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreement (CAFI). The latter, according to Adghoghi, has been completed and pending only signature. “2017 is being a very fruitful and promising year for Brazil-Morocco relations,” the ambassador said.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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