Photo Credit: Arab Weekly.
February 17, 2020.
Three stories you need to hear today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists–every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: The Arab Weekly
Lede: Morocco’s ties with Turkey have soured both politically and economically following reports that Rabat recalled its ambassador to Ankara and asked for a re-evaluation of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
Key Background: Trade ties between Morocco and Turkey are going through a crisis because of a huge trade deficit in favour of Turkey. Moroccan Minister for Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy said that Turkey had agreed to revise the FTA with Morocco to make it mutually beneficial.
Why this is newsworthy: Morocco’s issue with the free trade agreement deficit with Turkey and the impact of the Turkish retailer BIM reflects Morocco’s deeper economic worries. Reviewing the trade agreement with Turkey could be a way to address slow economic growth and unemployment.
Source: Moroccan World News
Lede: Security services arrested six suspects from Cote d’Ivoire for attempting to smuggle cannabis resin from Morocco.
Key background: Police arrested the suspects on at the Mohammed V international airport in Casablanca after they found 4.75 kilograms of cannabis resin in the suspects’ stomach in the forms of 795 capsules on Wednesday, a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) has said.
Why this is newsworthy: This story represents another operation as part of a larger fight against drug trafficking. Drugs like cannabis products are being smuggled from Morocco while drugs like ecstasy tablets are being smuggled into Morocco. Cannabis products remain the most common illegal drug, with police seizing 179,657 tons last year.
Source: North African Post
Lede: The European Union and Morocco share the same determination to further develop their economic and trade partnership, notably through a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement.
Key background: The two officials, who were meeting for the first time since Phil Hogan took over the position of Commissioner for Trade, discussed means to resume negotiations between the European Union and Morocco in trade and other areas and agreed to move forward in this process.
Why this is newsworthy: Morocco is seeking a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, which the EU only has with three other countries (Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova). The agreement would give Morocco more freedom in the European market and closer ties to the continent in general.