Buhari, Mohammed VI Lament Violent Extremism, Vow to Fight Scourge

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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari and King Mohammed VI of Morocco Monday in Rabat, lamented the persistent threat posed to security in Africa by violent extremism and terrorism and resolved to cooperate with each other in the fight against the scourge.

The two leaders whose concern was expressed in a joint communique they issued at the end of Buhari’s two-day working visit to Morocco, pledged to be committed to tolerance and peaceful coexistence as preached by Islam.

Mohammed, according to the communique, commended Buhari on his roles in the fight against terrorism in the Lake Chad region as well as his fight against corruption.

“The two Heads of State, in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, underscored their commitment to moderation, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, as taught by Islam. “They expressed deep concerns about violent extremism, terrorism and the persistence of security threats in Africa. They affirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in efforts to combat radicalisation in Africa and beyond.

“His Majesty King Mohammed VI congratulated His Excellency President Buhari for his leadership in the regional initiative against terrorism in the Lake Chad region and commended his efforts in the fight against corruption and his role as the African Union anti-corruption champion,” the communique read in part.

The communique, which further said Buhari’s visit to Morocco was at the instance of the King, added that the meeting was meant to promote meaningful bilateral relationship between the two countries and simultaneously create what they described as South-South cooperation.

According to the communique, both leaders welcomed the progress made so far in agriculture, fertiliser production, energy, infrastructure and mining and expressed their commitment to regional gas pipeline meant to connect the two countries.

It further said both leaders agreed to partner each other in agriculture by signing a cooperation agreement on vocational training and technical supervision.

“At the invitation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, undertook the first visit by a Nigerian Head of State to the Kingdom of Morocco, on 10 and 11 June 2018.

“The visit reinforces the positive bilateral relationship between Morocco and Nigeria since the Royal Visit to Abuja in December 2016. His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Buhari affirmed their will to create a model of South-South cooperation.

“In this spirit, they welcomed the significant progress made in various areas of cooperation, such as agriculture, fertilizer production, energy, infrastructure and mining. His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Buhari noted with satisfaction the milestones achieved and underscored their commitment to the Regional Gas Pipeline, which will connect Nigeria’s gas resources, those of some West African countries and Morocco, thereby fostering integration and development of countries in the West African region.

“The two Heads of State also noted progress made in other areas of the bilateral cooperation, as evidenced by the Agreement between OCP of Morocco and the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria to invest in Fertiliser Production; and the Memorandum of Understanding between OCP and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority on the establishment of a Basic Chemicals Platform, specifically to develop a significant Ammonia Production Plant.

“On the basis of their exemplary cooperation, the two heads of state agreed to develop a partnership in the field of agriculture, particularly through the signing of Cooperation Agreement on vocational training and technical supervision.

“On regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern, His Majesty King Mohammed VI and His Excellency President Buhari confirmed their willingness to consult and coordinate the positions of the two countries in regional and international organisations, including the African Union.

“His Excellency President Buhari congratulated His Majesty King Mohammed VI on Morocco’s election to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. He also congratulated His Majesty the King on the successful completion of his mandate as African Leader on Migration Issues, which culminated in the presentation of the African Agenda for Migration and the creation of the African Observatory on Migration. He also paid tribute to the personal commitment of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to sustainable development in Africa.

“At the end of the working visit, His Excellency President Buhari, on behalf of his delegation, expressed his deep appreciation for the warm reception and hospitality of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Government and the brotherly people of Morocco,” the communique added.

Buhari returned to the country Monday.