Rabat – The pulse of Morocco’s leadership in Africa has quickened, instilling the Kingdom’s presence throughout the continent. The latest recognition of the country came from Niger, whose minister of foreign affairs said that Morocco provides “multifaceted support” for his country.Fifty years ago, Morocco established diplomatic relations with Niger. Today, the fruits of corporation continue to thrive and prosper.At the 4th Morocco-Niger Joint Committee, held on Dec. 25-26 in Rabat and co-chaired by foreign minister Nasser Bourita and his Nigerien counterpart Ibrahim Yacoubou, the latter affirmed that Morocco represents a “very serious and important partner for Niger.” “Morocco’s support for Niger is growing bigger and more diversified in the sectors of trade, transportation, investment, justice and training,” he said.The session was concluded by the sealing of 16 agreements in the economic, tourism and cultural spheres, as well as in health, training, justice and transport.Among the agreements are an accord between the Moroccan Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG) and the Nigerien National Social Security Fund (CNSS), as well as a cooperation agreement between Morocco’s employers’ association (CGEM) and Niger’s chamber of commerce and industry (CCIN).A cooperation agreement between the Casablanca-Settat chamber of commerce, industry and services and the CCIN and a partnership declaration between Barid al Maghrib and Niger Post were also signed.An agreement on air services was established as well as another on the 2018-2025 program of tourism cooperation agreement.Three agreements in the judicial field, namely a draft agreement on judicial cooperation in civil, commercial and administrative matters, a protocol of cooperation between the two countries’ ministries of justice and a plan of action on justice were inked.Two memorandums of understanding were signed. One in the health sector and another in pharmacy and health products.The two officials also vowed to implement a framework cooperation agreement on training and internship and a draft program for the implementation of the cultural agreement, signed in 1967.Yacoubou said that the 4th session and the signing of the 16 agreements constitute “one of the most important phases in strengthening bilateral cooperation.” He invited Bourita to visit Niger to forge ahead with this bilateral cooperation.Further and BeyondMorocco’s return to the African Union is “an additional asset given to the political, historical and economic weight of Kingdom,” the Nigerien official said, whose country never recognized Polisario, and was among the first countries to support Morocco’s return to the AU and its request to join ECOWAS.“Our organization is strengthened and Africa is strengthened by the leadership of Morocco in many issues,” said Yacoubou.
31 January 2008The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed a draft law in Ireland that would speed up the asylum process for people seeking protection in the country. The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed a draft law in Ireland that would speed up the asylum process for people seeking protection in the country.The new Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill offered “a unique opportunity to strengthen Ireland’s existing asylum system by introducing a single asylum procedure,” said Manuel Jordão, Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ireland.The draft legislation, which must be tabled in parliament, would bring Irish law in line with the European Union’s asylum directives while simplifying the asylum process. The current multi-stage system, criticized by Ireland’s Department of Justice as far too lengthy, would enable decision-makers to examine grounds for protection with wider scope to make a ruling at the initial and appeals stages of the asylum process.Mr. Jordão said the bill would enhance the quality of asylum decisions, greatly reduce the risk of gaps occurring in the assessment of asylum claims, speed up decision-making and reduce the time asylum seekers live in accommodation centres.
A NON-IRISH NATIONAL in his 30s was arrested after a seizure by Revenue last night.The intelligence- led operation, code named ‘Cigar’, saw officers from Revenue’s Customs Service seize 85kgs of tobacco and 3,800 cigarettes with a total estimated retail value of €35,720 and a potential loss to the Exchequer of €28,576 in Cork.Officers originally discovered a quantity of tobacco and cigarettes when they stopped and searched, and subsequently seized, a 4×4 vehicle in the Mallow Road area of Cork city.In a follow up search at a private residence in county Cork, officers executed a search warrant and uncovered large amounts of unstamped Golden Virginia, Amber Leaf and Original Virginia tobacco and Jing Lin cigarettes in the house when tobacco dog Harvey reacted to an area behind a locked door.And for those of you interested, this is Harvey:Read: Gardaí seize €160,000 worth of cannabis plants in KerryRead: Dog duo Ralph and Defor help seize €90k worth of cannabis