Rabat – Nasser Bourita, Moroccan foreign affairs minister, has called Guinea a “true and exceptional” friend of Morocco’s, hailing the “unique” and “historical” relations between Rabat and the West African country.Bourita made the comments in the company of Mamadi Toure, Guinea’s foreign affairs minister, who is currently on a working visit to Rabat. Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday, July 23, the Moroccan minister welcomed Guinea’s “constant and clear” support for Morocco’s stance on the Western Sahara territorial dispute. Under the leadership of its president Alpha Conde, who was elected as the chairman of the African Union (AU) as Morocco joined the organization two years ago, the West African country has been one of the loudest continental supporters of Morocco’s return to African club. Guinea has also been one of the African countries to have backed up Rabat’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara. Bourita said that Guinea’s support for a host of Morocco-friendly agendas is the culmination of historical bonds which are illustrated in the closeness between successive Guinean governments and the Moroccan monarchy. Recently, however, Bourita stressed, the friendship between the two countries has been particularly helped by King Mohammed’s Africa-centered diplomacy and his commitment to Morocco’s historical allies.“Our relations considerably progressed recently, notably after the King’s two visits [to Conakry], during which we signed agreements to realize concrete projects.” According to Bourita, the host of development projects Morocco is accompanying and supervising in the West African country, as well as the solid friendship between King Mohammed VI and President Conde, have refreshed what was already a strong, “special” bilateral relationship.“Since the King’s visits, our bilateral cooperation has become stronger and multi-dimensional. It includes academic and vocational training, city planning projects in the city of Conakry, and the training of imams,” he said. All these, he elaborated, are “dimensions that reflect the wealth of the historical and unique friendship between Guinea and Morocco.”Bourita’s insistence on the academic and vocational training spoke simultaneously of Morocco’s desire to project itself as a continental hub for academic matters, as well as Guinea’s reliance on its North African partner for training its elite.Read also : Morocco’s Bourita to Lead Delegation to 2nd Western Sahara RoundtableAs one of the primary beneficiaries of the scheme of scholarships and study grants Morocco offers on a yearly basis to a number of African countries, Guinea’s support for Morocco has increased in recent years. Guinean students who spoke to Morocco World News late last year were full of praise for the North African country. “Morocco has one of the best education systems in the world,” one said, as he spoke with enthusiasm about his academic experience in Morocco.But the most striking illustration of Morocco’s appeal among Guinea’s Morocco-trained youth and elite was most visible when Guinea failed to vote for Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid. Guineans took to social media to lambast what many of them labeled a “shameful betrayal” of a historical ally. Most cited Morocco’s support for the country when it faced the Ebola in 2014-2015.In response to Bourita’s call on Guinea to continue coordinating with Morocco on “all continental and regional issues,” Toure reaffirmed his country’s commitment to upholding the “exceptional friendship” binding it to Morocco. Like Bourita, the Guinean minister lingered over the two nation’s “historical closeness,” expressing gratitude for Morocco’s support in a string of ongoing development projects in guinea.