London, 22 Rabiul Akhir 1434/4 March 2013 (MINA) – The United Kingdom welcomed the launch of negotiations between Morocco and the European Union (EU) on a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement.

         “I welcome the launch today of negotiations between the EU and Morocco for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement,” said British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, according to reports monitored by Miraj News Agency (MINA), Monday.

        “I encourage the negotiators to conclude an agreement swiftly so that the people of Morocco and Europe can start to feel the benefits” said the head of British diplomacy.

         The official recalled that the EU is Morocco’s largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to €24 billion in 2011, including over €1 billion with the UK.

         According to the British official, the agreement will raise this trade relationship to a new level, bringing closer economic integration between Morocco and the EU single market.  It will also see closer alignment of Moroccan rules, regulations and institutions with those of the EU single market, so that goods and services can be traded freely.

         “The beginning of negotiations for a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with Morocco aligns closely to our vision for the G8 Deauville Partnership, he said, adding that it could be one of the most important steps forward for the EU’s economic relationship with the southern Mediterranean.” (T/P09/E1)

Miraj News Agency (MINA).

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