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Rabat – State Secretary for Fisheries Mbarka Bouaida recently held talks with several senior Japanese officials focusing on developing cooperation between the two nations in the realm of aquaculture.During her visit to Japan this past week, Bouaida met with several senior Japanese officials to learn about Japanese techniques in the areas of aquaculture and fisheries, said a release by the National Aquaculture Development Agency. She was accompanied by Director of the National Aquaculture Development Agency, Majida Maarouf, and Morocco’s ambassador to Japan, Rachad Bouhlal. Bouaida held talks with Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ken Saito.Saito hailed Morocco’s leadership on the African continent and its commitment to the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The kingdom has also played a positive role on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Bouaida highlighted the opportunities offered by Moroccan shorelines for the development of aquaculture activities, reaffirming the Kingdom’s commitment to better governance of fisheries and natural resources.During her talks with Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono, Bouaida lauded the efforts of Japan particularly with regards to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has launched several fisheries structuring projects in Morocco.For his part, Kono noted Morocco’s strengths with regards to political stability, as well as its relations of cooperation at the regional and continental levels. During her meeting with JICA Vice President Junichi Yamada, the Moroccan State Secretary praised the efforts made by the JICA in developing international cooperation through commerce. Bouaida also shed light on the progress made through the Halieutis strategy, particularly with regards to the development of aquaculture.Bouaida also met with Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Chairman of Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and the Technological President of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. read more

Sri Lanka today said it unequivocally supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain, and considers Catalonia as an integral part of Spain.The statement was made after the unilateral declaration of independence by the regional Parliament of Catalonia. The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka and Spain enjoy an enduring friendship, and Sri Lanka considers Spain as an important member in Sri Lanka’s partnership with the European Union. “The Government of Sri Lanka unequivocally supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain, and considers Catalonia as an integral part of Spain. The Government of Sri Lanka urges the pursuit of dialogue for a united Spain in accordance with the rule of law, and within the Spanish constitutional framework,” the Foreign Ministry said. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday announced the immediate sacking of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his Government and called for new elections in the region on December 21.This followed the decision taken by the Catalan Parliament earlier in the day to unilaterally declare independence of the region in the northeast of Spain. (Colombo Gazette) read more