World Bulletin / News Desk
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI arrived in war-torn South Sudan on Wednesday evening for a state visit aimed at strengthening bilateral and economic ties between the two countries.
His two-day visit is the first since Morocco was readmitted to the African Union. The talks are expected to center on investment opportunities, especially in mining and agriculture.
The Moroccan monarch was received on arrival by President Salva Kiir, who then proceeded to inspect a guard of honor mounted by officers and men of the Brigade of Guards.
Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol told journalists the people of South Sudan and Morocco would benefit immensely from the renewed diplomatic engagement between the two countries.
"His coming to South Sudan after readmission to African Union is a big recognition to the people of South Sudan," Alor said.
About what South Sudan stands to gain from the king’s visit, the minister said: “South Sudan will benefit from Morocco in expertise and capital.
"We have abundant lands, and we are not very much using it because of two things, expertise and capital and both are coming with Morocco."
He also spoke about historical ties of Morocco with Sub Sahara Africa. "Morocco helped African liberation movements to achieve their independence during their struggle and that is why Morocco is very important to Sub Saharan African countries like South Sudan," he added.
The visit to South Sudan is a visit of friendship, a visit of solidarity and a visit of opening a new chapter of our bilateral relations, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told journalists at the Juba Airport.
Bourita said bilateral agreements would cover industrial, agricultural and mining sectors.
South Sudan's oil production plummeted after the outbreak of a civil war in December 2013. The South Sudanese government depends on oil revenue to finance some 98 percent of its budget.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed, 2.4million people displaced from their homes and another 5 million at the risk of starvation in South Sudan, according to UN.