RABAT - Morocco invited Saudi Arabia on Thursday to contribute to a fund to spur investments, seeking economic gains from its close political alliance with the Gulf monarchy.

The Moroccan economy is expected to slow to 1.5% this year from 7.9% last year on the back of drought and imported inflationary pressures.

"We invite relevant bodies in Saudi Arabia to support Morocco's large-scale reforms and priority development projects," Foreign Ninister Nasser Bourita said at the opening session of a joint Moroccan-Saudi committee on bilateral cooperation.

He urged Saudi Arabia in particular to contribute to Morocco's planned $4.5 billion investment fund that aims to boost its post-pandemic economic recovery.

The yet to be activated fund has received an initial contribution of 15 billion dirhams ($1.5 billion) from the state budget, with the rest to be raised from national and international donors.

A longtime ally of Morocco, Saudi Arabia supports Rabat's position on the Western Sahara conflict.

Morocco has also backed Saudi Arabia against Iran and took part in the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen's war.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Mark Heinrich)