Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and his Moroccan opposite number, Ahmed Osman, signed an agreement in Moscow on Friday on so-operation in exploiting Morocco's phosphate deposits.
Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and his Moroccan opposite number, Ahmed Osman, signed an agreement in Moscow on Friday on so-operation in exploiting Morocco's phosphate deposits. The Soviet News Agency Tass said the agreement was signed together with a trade protocol at the end of two days of talks on extending economic links.
SYNOPSIS: Mr, Osman arrived in the Soviet capital on Thursday and Mr. Kosygin was at the airport to greet him. Also there was Mr. Ivan Arkhipov, a vice chairman of the Council of Ministers.
The visit came a little over a month after a Moroccan delegation had been in the Soviet Union putting final touches to the agreement, which has been described by King Hassan of Morocco as "the contract of the century".
Under the agreement the Soviet Union is investing some two billion dollars for opening up and equipping a new phosphate mine at Moskals in south Morocco. It has also agreed to build a railway and new harbour at Essaoura on the Atlantic coast.
The official signing ceremony took place in the Kremlin. It is understood that under the agreement, which is spread over a period of 20 to 30 years, Morocco will export Meskala phosphate to the Soviet Union initially to pay for capital investment, and later in exchange for Soviet timber, chemicals, oil and other products. Meskala will be the fifth major phosphate mine in Morocco, and it will bring total production capacity to about 47 million tonnes a year. According to London's financial Times newspaper, the first shipments of triple-super phosphate (TSP) from Morocco, are to be delivered this year.
It is the first Soviet involvement in the Moroccan phosphate industry, and it represents the largest foreign investment in Morocco since independence in 1956.
Mr. Osman is due to leave Moscow for Morocco on Monday.