Moroccan prime minister to make first visit to Iran
Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi will make the first visit to Iran by a Moroccan head of government since the Islamic revolution on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign ministry said Friday.
Youssoufi, who will be accompanied by several unidentified ministers and businessmen, will sign a number of economic agreements between Rabat and Tehran, spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said.
Diplomatic relations were broken off in 1981 by Iran because Morocco's King Hassan II played host to the exiled Shah of Iran, and were not restored for 10 years.
Tehran also resented Moroccan support for Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq war, while Rabat was angered by Iranian recognition of the state declared by the Polisario Front fighting Morocco for control of the Western Sahara.
Relations have improved over the past decade, however, and in July 1999 President Mohammad Khatami sent a message of condolences on Hassan's death to the new King Mohamed VI.
Trade between the two amounts to $200 million annually with potential for expansion, notably in Iranian oil and Moroccan phosphates. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)