France to Back Morocco’s Power Link to Western Sahara

France plans to fund a 3-gigawatt power cable connecting Casablanca, Morocco, with Dakhla, Western Sahara.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister, provided this information. Western Sahara is a disputed region between Morocco, which considers it a southern province, and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, which advocates for an independent state.

“I confirm to you that we are ready to participate in funding this project,” Le Maire told a Moroccan-French business forum in Rabat.

In February, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne emphasized France’s support for Morocco’s investments in Western Sahara and reaffirmed Rabat’s objective for territorial autonomy. This signaled a warming in diplomatic relations between the two countries following a period of frostiness.

Morocco wants France to accept its full sovereignty over Western Sahara, as the United States and several Arab and African countries have done.

According to Le Maire, France is also eager to work with Morocco on developing solar, wind, green hydrogen, and nuclear power.

The French development agency AFD is expected to grant a 350 million euro loan to Morocco’s phosphates and fertilizer giant OCP to help it decarbonize.

France is the greatest foreign investor in Morocco, with an investment stock of 8.2 billion euros ($8.75 billion) up to 2022. Morocco has industrial facilities for well-known French corporations such as Renault and Safran.

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