The United Arab Emirates granted a US$300 million financial assistance to Morocco to cope with its soaring oil bill, said a communiqué by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry. The move was revealed in a meeting between king Mohammed VI and Mohammed Bin Dhaen Al Hamili, Emirati Minister of Energy and envoy of UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
According to MAP, Saudi Arabia had granted Morocco US$ 500 million to help the north African kingdom face the effects of increasing oil prices. A special Fund has been created for the Saudi and Emirati grants, said a communiqué by the Ministry of Finances.
According to figures published recently by Morocco's Office des Changes (exchange office), the north African country’s imports of crude oil in the first quarter of 2008 reached US$ 1.1 billion, i.e. a 68.9% rise compared to the same period in 2007. The increase in the oil bill is ascribed to the hike in international crude oil prices. The average price of an imported ton increased by 54.5% from US$ 458.5/T to US$ 708/T in 2008.