Friends and Allies

informative site on what is going on in one of America's great and oldest friend, Morocco

Morocco and France reinforce their friendship

June 15th, 2017

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French President Emmanuel Macron Arrives in Morocco with his spouse Mrs. Brigitte Macron for a friendship and working visit at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.

Upon their arrival, an official warm welcome was reserved to the French President and his spouse and after a short break at the VIP lounge in the Rabat-Salé airport, the procession of the two leaders headed for the Rabat royal palace where talks took place.

These talks reflect the deep bilateral relations and the common will of the Heads of State of the two countries to further consolidate this strategic partnership to serve the best interests of the two peoples.

At a press conference, French President Emmanuel Macron praised the “very personal” discussion held with King Mohammed VI saying that “This visit to Morocco mirrors the relations between our two countries, based on a common vision and a desire to pursue our joint interests not only in Morocco but also in the region and in Africa”.

French President also added that Morocco is a “friendly country and a strategic partner for France”, reaffirming France’s will to accompany the ambitious reforms undertken by the Kingdom of Morocco.

In this respect, the French head of State recalled the modernization of institutions with the implementation of the institutional reform of 2011, the economic emergence with the integration of Morocco into networks and globalization and finally social and territorial development with the program to combat inequalities and the initiative of advanced regionalization.

President Macron also said that his talks with the King focused on several topics of common interest, mainly the ongoing economic, cultural and educational projects, the development of Francophonie, the Libyan conflict and the current crisis in the Gulf.

He also indicated that France and Morocco have a common policy in Africa, welcoming Morocco’s return to the African Union and soon to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

This visit, the first of the French President outside the European Union and the Maghreb since his election on May 7, attests to the excellent relations between the two countries.

While Mrs Brigitte Macaron was in Morocco, she and Princesses Lalla Salma and Lalla Oum Kaltoum visited the “Face à Picasso” exhibition at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Rabat.

This exhibition features more than a hundred works (paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, drawings and prints) from the collections of the National Picasso Museum -Paris.

The King of Morocco’s commitment to the sites classified as a World Heritage

May 24th, 2017

Présentation du programme de réhabilitation des médersas restaurés

King Mohammed VI Chaired the presentation ceremony of restored Madrasas Rehabilitation Program in Fez in order to accommodate students and teachers of the Qarawiyyin University.

On this occasion, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, delivered a speech in which he pointed out that in implementation of the Royal guidelines for the accommodation of students of the Al Qarawiyyin University in these Medersas (religious school or college for the study of the Islamic religion), students were accommodated in three Medersas, namely the Mohammedia, the Seffarine and the Bouaanania.

The Minister added that the accommodation capacity of these Medersas reached 105 beds and in order to enable the Students of Qarawiyyin University to reconnect with its authentic curriculum, a new cycle, “the Upper Alimiya cycle,” was created.

The Minister also recalled the opening of the house of the “Moaqquit”, one of the restored historical monuments and the director-general of the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the Medina of Fez (ADER) considered these rehabilitations as an integrated model of the Arab-Islamic and Mediterranean city.

Morocco was one of the first countries to ratify the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the richness and diversity of the historical heritage of the Medina of Fez, which is home to more than 30,000 artisans, have enabled this city to be the first Moroccan site classified as a World Heritage in 1981.

The King of Morocco’s commitment to fes which is considered the academic and spiritual capital of Morocco led to the restoration of 27 historic monuments among which the Medersa Mohammadia, the Medersas of the merinids, Seffarine (dedicated to the teaching of the social and human sciences), Mesbahiya, as well as the Sahrij Medersa and Dar Al Mouaqqit.

The ceremony was attended by the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova and Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

Algerian Official Attacks Moroccan Diplomat at UN Meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

May 22nd, 2017

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According to the Moroccan Press, a Moroccan diplomat was attacked by an Algerian official last Thursday at a United Nations meeting in the Caribbean. Morocco has denounced the act of “physical aggression,” calling it a “serious” incident “against all diplomatic etiquette.”

At the meeting of a UN committee on decolonization in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Soufiane Mimouni, the director general of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), “physically attacked” the deputy of the Moroccan ambassador to Saint Lucia, a Moroccan official told the French Press Agency (AFP).

“Our diplomat was sent to the hospital,” said the official, “the meeting was interrupted, [and] a complaint was submitted.”

Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs told the press that despite the fact that in recent years increased tension were witnessed during the UN meetings but never to this extent.

“Thus transgressing all diplomatic etiquette and customs, on the part of a diplomat of this rank, The 3rd person in the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is serious,” said the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs. “This type [violence], to the point of physical aggression, is unique in the history books.”

“This reflects the extreme panic of the Algerian diplomacy: that a Algerian representative having travelled to Saint-Lucie, would take matters into his own hands. It is also more surprising on the part of a country [Algeria] that calls itself simply an observer” in the Sahara issue.

Morocco called on Algeria to “contribute to a solution and assume responsibility in the matter.”

Morocco-Nigeria : the launching of the Gazoduc and the fertilizers project.

May 17th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI presided on Monday at the royal palace in Rabat, a ceremony during which the Moroccan-Nigerian agreement regarding the launching of the Gazoduc and the fertilizers project was signed.

The event was attended by the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama who recalled the King’s last visit to Abuja where he met the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. After a few months the two countries have succeeded to launch the implementation of the two bilateral projects, Onyeama explains.

On the other hand the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita presented the maine characteristics of the Gazoduc project that brings together Morocco and Nigeria and enhances the South-South cooperation.

Bourita also indicated that this mega-project is a concrete example of the new vision that King Mohammed VI holds for Africa. The Morocco-Nigerian pipeline will have a positive impact on the 300 million inhabitants, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added, stating that it will boost electrification projects in western Africa creating by that a competitive regional market of electricity.

Farouq Said Garba, head of the National Nigerian Petroleum (NNPC) Company has mentioned the governance arrangements for the project, the feasibility, the engineering planning for and the rights and obligations put for win-win cooperation.

The ceremony was also attended by the president of the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (Fepsan), Thomas Ethu, the Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, and Mustapha Terrab the CEO of OCP croup to discuss the partnership between Morocco and Nigeria.

King Mohammed VI was awarded the Energy Efficiency (EE) Visionary Award in Washington DC

May 11th, 2017

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Earlier this week, Morocco’s King was recognized for his “pioneering leadership in energy efficiency.” at the Annual EE Global Forum.

Ms Kateri Callahan, President and Director of The Alliance To Save Energy, said in a statement that “Morocco’s leadership in adopting ambitious efficiency policies sets an example for other countries and will pay tremendous dividends for the Kingdom,” adding that the King of Morocco and “the entire Moroccan government are truly energy efficiency visionaries and we are thrilled to present them with this award.”

On this occasion, a message sent to this important gathering by King Mohammed VI read that “The pressing challenge for our world today is not so much to confront the lack of energy resources as to mobilize the investment needed in this field,” the King said. “It is, therefore, necessary to build the energy infrastructure required and to develop alternative technologies… The security of energy supply, energy availability, energy efficiency and environmental protection are the bedrock of my country’s energy strategy.”

The King’s message explained that Morocco is commited to generating 42% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and 52% by 2030, adding that the country’s “commitment in this field does not stop at Morocco’s borders”.

The message concluded with the King’s “ pledge to keep up efforts at the national, regional and continental levels” and do all he “can to promote an environment conducive to the sustainable development of energy efficiency, renewable energy, technological innovation and green jobs….”

King Mohammed VI Holds Phone Call with Newly-Elected French President

May 11th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI held a phone conversation with newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him for his election, which, according to a statement from the Royal palace, was marked by broad support for President Macron vision for the future of the France.

The statement concluded that the call was also an opportunity to highlight the unique nature of the bilateral relations, as well as the shared commitment to consolidate and enrich this exceptional partnership.

Spread of Islam exhibition in the spotlight in France

May 8th, 2017

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In Paris, King Mohammed VI and French President, François Hollande, visited the “Treasures of Islam in Africa, from Timbuktu to Zanzibar” exhibition held in the Arab World Institute.

On this occasion, the two heads of state accompanied by the president of the Arab World Institute, Jack Lang, toured the different parts of this exhibition which unfolded a threeforld journey: the spread of Islam, religious practices and arts of Islam.

This unprecedented exhibition is devoted to the close ties between the Arab-Muslim world and sub-Saharan Africa.

From Morocco to Senegal, through Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and many other countries of the continent, the exhibition retraces several centuries of history through art and architecture.

The African Country of Malawi Withdraws its Recognition of the polisario

May 8th, 2017

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Malawi’s Foreign minister announced at a press briefing following a meeting with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that his country decided to withdraw its recognition of the polisario and its fictional state “SADR” and to maintain a neutral position vis-à-vis the regional Sahara conflict”.

Malawi supports the efforts of the United Nations, through the Secretary-General and the Security Council, to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the dispute, he added. “Our country wants to make a positive contribution to the UN process by maintaining a neutral position without pre-judging its outcome”.

Malawi’s Foreign minister also expressed his wish that “this position of neutrality and support for the UN process will send a strong signal to all the parties concerned in favour of a solution to this long-standing regional conflict”.

Meeting Between King Mohammed VI, President François Hollande

May 3rd, 2017

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According to a statement from the Royal Cabinet, King Mohammed VI was received at the Elysee by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, for a luncheon attended also by members of the governments, friends of two countries as well as members of civil society. This Luncheon is a symbol of the strong and multifaceted ties between France and Morocco.

The two Heads of State highlighted the personal relations of esteem and mutual respect, the basis of the renewal of French-Moroccan partnership in the fields of security, sustainable development, culture and education.

They expressed their confidence in the vitality of this exceptional partnership, which transcends political agendas; a partnership with a strategic scope for the two countries bilaterally or at the level of Euro-Mediterranean and African development, the statement added.

On this occasion, the President of the French Republic congratulated the King for the return of Morocco to the African Union and welcomed Morocco’s strong initiatives for the development of the continent.

For his part, King Mohammed VI thanked the French President for his personal commitment in favor of French-Moroccan friendship and assured him of Morocco’s determination to strengthening and deepening relations between the two countries, the statement concluded.

Morocco re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba

April 23rd, 2017

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A statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that King Mohammed VI gave his high instructions to re-establish the country’s diplomatic relations with Cuba.

A joint statement was, therefore, signed between the Permanent Missions of the two countries to the United Nations in New York, providing for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.

The statement concluded that this decision is part of the implementation of the High Royal Guidelines for a proactive diplomacy that is open on new partners and geographical areas. A new embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco is expected to opne in Havana in the near future.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco launched the Noor IV Programme in Ouarzazate.

April 3rd, 2017

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King Mohammed VI Launched the Final Stage of the World’s Largest Solar Energy Complex, Noor Ouarzazate IV.

This new project, which will be developed on an area of 137 ha using photovoltaic (PV) technology, reflects the will of the King of Morocco to optimize the exploitation of Morocco’s natural resources, to preserve its environment, to promote its economic and social development and to ensure the future of generations to come.

It reflects the special interest given by King Mohammed VI to energy projects, a real lever for development, and the desire to further promote Morocco’s expertise in a sector at the cutting edge of technology to benefit both Morocco and the African continent.

The latest example of this interest is the Nigerian-Moroccan gas pipeline project, which was announced during the last visit of the Sovereign to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The construction of Noor Ouarzazate IV power station is in line with Morocco’s international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its major goal of increasing the share of renewable energies in the national electricity mix to 52 pc by 2030.

A budget of over 750 million dirhams, Noor Ouarzazate IV has a capacity of 72 MW. It uses photovoltaic technology which makes it possible to produce electrical energy directly from the solar radiation captured by semi-conductor cells.

Noor Ouarzazate IV power station, scheduled to start operating in the first quarter of 2018, will be developed as part of a partnership involving the National Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), a central pillar in renewable energies in Morocco, and a consortium of private operators led by the group ACWA POWER.

It is worth mentioning here that the German Development Bank KfW Bankengruppe, contributed 659 million dirhams to the financing of the project.

As a reminder, the second and third power stations of Noor solar complex (Noor II and Noor III) were launched by King Mohammed VI last year. Their completion rate reached 76 and 74 pc respectively.

With a capacity of 200 MW, Noor II plant is developed on a maximum area of 680 ha, based on solar thermal technology, with cylindrical parabolic trough. Noor III plant is built on an area of 750 ha using a solar power tower (150 MW).

Noor Ouarzazate II, III and IV, combined with Noor Ouarzazate I (160 MW) that started operating in February 2016, make Noor Ouarzazate the largest multi-technology solar production site in the world, with a total investment of 24 billion dirhams.

King Mohammed VI and Jordanian King Inaugurate in Rabat Cultural and Artistic Event ‘Africa in Capital’

March 24th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI and the Sovereign of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, inaugurated, on Thursday at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat, the cultural and artistic event “Africa in Capital”.

Held under the patronage of the King, the event, initiated by the National Foundation for Museums in collaboration with several Moroccan cultural and institutional stakeholders, celebrates African art by shedding light on its dynamism and multiple expression modes.

This major event hosted in Rabat “City of Light” until April 28, is in line with efforts made by King Mohammed VI to make culture a real lever for development, an engine for bringing peoples closer, a melting pot, and a tool to promote the values of tolerance, openness and sharing.

On this occasion, the King and his distinguished guest visited three exhibitions held under this event, namely “Contemporary Look into African Art”, “Joint Presence”, and “Memorial”.

The “Contemporary Look into African Art” exhibition features paintings, sculptures and design items made by famous African artists as Congo’s Chéri Samba and Chéri Chérin, Benin’s Cyprien Tokoudagba, Nigeria’s Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya and Ben Osaghae and Ghana’s Kwame Akoto, and helps with exploring the trends marking the African contemporary art.

The “Joint Presence” is an exhibition narrating two experiences of a return to the roots in the African land by artists Kouka Ntadi (French-Congolese painter) and Wahib Chehata (Tunisian).

The third exhibition “Memorial” is a tribute to three inspiring photographers who passed away: Malek Sidibé “Malian Coverages”, Laila Alaoui” the Moroccans” and Othmane Dilami “Trance Musicians”.

The “Africa in Capital” will also be marked by intense cultural activities: 36 events in 18 sites, movie screening, music concerts, and conferences. On this occasion, Malian painter Abdoulaye Konaté, who is taking part with his works in the same exhibition, handed the two Kings a portfolio of his paintings and creations.

At the end of the visit, the Sovereign of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan signed the visitors’ book of the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

King of Morocco Chairs Ceremony to Present ‘Mohammed VI Tangiers Tech City’ Project

March 21st, 2017

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King Mohammed VI chaired, on Monday at the Marchane Palace in Tangiers, the ceremony to present the project of setting up the new city “Mohammed VI Tangiers Tech City” and sign the related draft agreement.

This new city will contribute to the rapid development of economic activities in Tangiers and all the northern region in the Kingdom. It is the fruit of the sovereign-led policy of economic partnership diversification with several countries, on the back of the many visits paid by the King to China, Russia, India and other African countries.

The project, carried out by the Tangiers-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region, HAITE Chinese group and BMCE Bank, is a concrete example of the Chinese-Moroccan partnership and will impact not only the region but also the whole country, as stipulated in the 2014-2020 industrial acceleration plan included in the Morocco-China industrial partnership.

China has developed a noteworthy know-how in relation with Industrial and Smart Cities, noting that these cities integrate harmoniously industrial, commercial, entertainment and public utilities zones and provide them with high technology needed in modern life.

It is worth mentioning that Mohammed VI Tangiers Tech City project will help create thousands of jobs, transfer advanced technology, foster national economy’s competitiveness and raise the region’s economic status continentally and internationally.

President of HAITE groupe Li Biao underlined that Morocco has become, thanks to its solid and multiple assets, a hot destination for Chinese businessmen.

In fact, Morocco’s political and social stability, with an economy that is open on the world and well integrated in international value chains, and the presence of world’s industrial leaders in competitive sectors, make the country the ideal investment environment for Chinese investors.

Biao noted that the choice of Tangiers to host this project is due to the central geographical position of the city at the crossroads of continents (only 15 km from Europe) and its well-developed infrastructure, namely the Tangiers Med port and associated facilities.

This new project involves building an economic pole that would generate 100,000 jobs (90,000 jobs will benefit the inhabitants of the Tangiers region). It consists of constructing 200 Chinese companies operating in the automotive manufacturing, aerospace industry, aviation spare parts, electronic information, textiles, machinery manufacturing and other industries. The total investment of companies in the area after ten years will reach 10 billion dollars, Biao said.

Moving to resolve the deadlock to form a Moroccan government

March 17th, 2017

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Following a deadlock on forming the Government and by virtue of the constitutional prerogatives, The King of Morocco ousted the head of the government whom he appointed on October 7th 2016, the Royal Cabinet announced on Wednesday evening.

Following is the detailed Royal Cabinet statement

“As a reminder, the King had been exhorting the appointed Head of Government to speed up the formation of the new Government.

After the return of HM the King to the country following the tour which led the Sovereign to several brotherly African countries, HM the King has learnt that the consultations conducted by the Head of Government for more than five months have not yet led to the formation of the governmental majority, in addition to the absence of any sign that foreshadows its forthcoming formation.

By virtue of the constitutional prerogatives of HM the King, as guarantor of the Constitution and the good functioning of institutions, and defender of the supreme interests of the Nation and citizens, and consequently of His Majesty’s concern to overcome the current state of stalemate, HM the King has decided to appoint another political figure of the Justice and Development Party as the new Head of Government.

HM the King has opted for this High decision, among all the other options granted to Him by the letter and spirit of the Constitution, to accomplish His sincere will and permanent concern to consolidate the democratic choice and to preserve the achievements made by our country in this area.

HM the King will receive this figure as soon as possible and will instruct him to form the new government.

HM the King commended the high sense of responsibility and sincere patriotism shown by Abdelilah Benkirane throughout the period during which he assumed the presidency of the Government in full effectiveness, competence and self-denial”.

Later today, in an attempt to speed up the formation of a new government in Morocco, The King appointed the former Foreign Minister, Saad Eddin Al Othmani, to head the new government, hoping to get out of a deadlock that lasted 5 months.

King Mohammed VI visit to Cote d’Ivoire was a huge success

March 17th, 2017

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King Mohamed VI and Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara concluded the King’s visit to the country with a joint statement, praising their countries’ deepening relationship and affirming their commitment to a strong Africa.

Both leaders called for a comprehensive, cooperative political approach to combating the rise of new forms of global crime. They discussed the fight against terrorism, cyber crimes, sea piracy and drug trafficking and urged the international community to combine forces to eradicate the criminal organizations perpetrating these offenses.

In the statement, King Mohamed VI lauded the part Ouattara has played in settling conflicts in the manner laid out by the late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny. For his part, the Ivorian President lauded Morocco’s role as a peaceful and calming influence on the entire continent and the return of the Kingdom of Morocco to the African Union

Ouattara complimented the decisive role Morocco continues to play in securing peace and security in Africa as a whole and, in particular, in Sub-regions of North and West Africa.

“This return clearly shows the will and determination of the King of Morocco to engage in South-South cooperation and fully participate in the development of the continent, as evidenced by the Morocco-Nigeria pipeline project, which will cross West African countries, especially Cote d’Ivoire, whose benefits will not only concern all of those countries, but especially all of their populations,” Ouattara said.

In response, King Mohamed VI expressed his country’s appreciation for the Ivorian support of Morocco’s return to the organization and pledged Morocco’s support for Cote d’Ivoire’s candidacy for a non-permanent member’s seat at the Security Council for 2018-2019.

In their joint statement, both leaders celebrated the signing of 143 economic agreements and called for regular meetings of the Committee for the Formal Mechanism of the Follow-up and Implementation of the Agreements.

Both leaders celebrated the 2nd Session for the Morocco-Cote d’Ivoire economic Impetus Group. The group promotes both public and private sector partnerships between the two nations as part of the Strategic and Economic Partnership Agreement, signed in Morocco January 21.

“The governments of the two countries will endeavor to implement the recommendations of this second session, which are in line with the common vision of the two heads of state to establish bilateral cooperation between the two countries as a genuine model of South-South Cooperation for Africa as a whole.”

By the time the 2nd Session was concluded, 14 agreements had been signed involving a wide variety of sectors including construction and social housing, infrastructure, transport and logistics, banking and financial, social economy, solidarity and crafts, health, digital economy and industry.

The working/friendship trip afforded King Mohamed VI an opportunity to check on the progress of some of the projects Morocco has invested in recently. Both leaders expressed their mutual pleasure at the progress made regarding the safeguarding and upgrade to the Bay of Cocody.

King Mohammed VI invited his host to visit Morocco which he enthusiastically accepted. Details of the visit will be set through the usual channels and protocols.

Morocco and Nigeria: An effective South-South Cooperation

March 17th, 2017

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According to a statement from the Royal Cabinet, the King of Morocco Held a phone conversation with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari. During this phone call, the sovereign voiced his joy to see president Buhari conduct a new and effective mission as leader of this brotherly country after a period of convalescence.

The two heads of states lauded the excellent multidimensional relations between Morocco and Nigeria and their promising prospects.

In this regard, King Mohammed VI and president Buhari expressed satisfaction with the progress, as well as bilateral exchanges and working sessions relating to the strategic gazoduc project which will link Nigeria to Morocco.

the King Inaugurates Mohammed VI Emergency Medicine Training Center in Abidjan

March 8th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI, accompanied by Côte d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, inaugurated, on Wednesday in the university hospital center of Yopougon in Abidjan, the Mohammed VI Emergency Medicine Training Center.

First of its kind in the country, the center offers practical training in emergency medicine for the benefit of emergency physicians in Côte d’Ivoire’s university hospital centers, as well as first aid workers and health auxiliaries. It boasts modern equipment and material meeting international standards.

It also includes rooms for simulation (Adult / Mother and Child), lab works, multimedia control, courses (possibility of broadcasting in real time lab works and simulations in progress in other rooms for a larger audience), and evaluation, as well as an area for teachers.

With a yearly training capacity of 75 emergency physicians, and 120 first aid workers and health auxiliaries, the center will be managed through a partnership between the Marrakech Mohammed VI university hospital center and the Ivorian ministry of health and public hygiene. An agreement was inked in this regard between the Marrakech Mohammed VI university hospital center and the Yopougon university hospital center on March 1 concerning the capacity-building of hospital staff in terms of quality and risk management.

The King also examined the progress of the building of a vocational training complex on building, civil engineering and tourism jobs which was launched by the sovereign in June 2015 in the Yopougon commune.

The project seeks to provide the sectors of building, civil engineering and tourism, as well as the hotel and catering industry with qualified human resources, reinforce the employment of youth and promote their social and professional integration, and support the large-scale socio-economic development projects initiated in Côte d’Ivoire.

The future complex will offer training in 12 specialties related to the building and civil engineering sector and 9 specialties in the tourism sector and is expected to host up to 1,000 trainees.

The King of Morocco: Protection and Development Projects in Cote d’Ivoire

March 8th, 2017

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King Mohammed and president of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Dramane Ouattara, chaired, in Abidjan, the ceremony to present the progress of the Cocody Bay Protection and Development Project.

The project’s first phase, which has reached a very advanced level, involves site cleaning up and landscaping, protection against floods, construction of hydraulic infrastructure, road development, and building a viaduct, symbol of an emerging Côte d’Ivoire. The project’s second phase, which concerns the Bay’s development and upgrading, is aimed at improving the citizens’ living conditions and turning Abidjan into a hot tourist destination. This project costs around 450 million dollars.

Thanks to the help of Marchica Med and in coordination with Ivorian authorities, the financing of this investment was completed. The financial engineering enabled to optimize funding capacities by associating several international donors.

Up to 20% of the investment will be covered through a bridging loan by the Ivorian government and via commercial banks. The remaining funding is guaranteed, under a concessional loan, by the main Arab funds as the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

On this occasion, the King and the Ivorian leader presided over the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the new phase of the Bay’s development and upgrading. This MOU sets the terms for the implementation of a program on the upgrading and development of the “Rive Plateau”, the Cocody Urban Park and the “Coulée verte” of Banco.

Concerning the “Rive Plateau”, a “Maison Ivoire” (Ivory House) will be set up and will comprise hotels, a trade center, a convention center, and facilities to promote the Ivorian culture. It will also include facilities for recreational, leisure and catering activities near the Abidjan marina.

As for the Cocody bank, it will house a future urban park with three main components, namely a sports plain, a zone for aquatic activities and a site for adventures and discovery.

The Coulée verte” of Banco project provides for the cleaning, reforestation and urban development of a 3,000 ha corridor between the Banco forest and the Cocody Bay. It also provides for the setting up of community-based infrastructure for populations living in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the construction of thematic houses: the Cacao House, the Coffee House, the Wood House….

The MOU touches also on the extension of the partnership touching on the urban and port development of the Grand Bassam.

King Mohammed VI and Ivorian Pres. Launch Construction Works of ‘Mohammed VI’ Mosque in Treichville

March 6th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, and the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, launched, in Abidjan, the construction works of a mosque, which the Sovereign named after himself.

This royal initiative mirrors the King’s willingness to fund a prayer’s place for Moslems to exercise their worship in the best conditions.

The “Mohammed VI” mosque, to be completed in 34 months, will be spanned over an area of 25,000 m2, and will include two prayer rooms (men and women) with a total capacity of more than 7,000 worshippers, a library, a conference room, an administrative pavilion, a Koranic school, a commercial facility, a parking lot and green areas.

This project is part of the actions taken by the King of Morocco in several African countries to promote the values of peace, tolerance and solidarity, as advocated by Islam, and to combat all forms of extremism and fanaticism.

King Mohammed VI outreach to the African Continent: A visit to Cote d’Ivoire and a call to the Nigerian President

March 3rd, 2017

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King Mohammed VI, accompanied by vice-president of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, visited in the North of Abidjan the Locodjro Developed Unloading Building Site and examined the progress of the Grand Lahou’s unloading site which is still under construction (150km west of Abidjan).

The sovereign’s personal supervision of the progress of these projects mirrors the continuous royal commitment to ameliorating the living conditions of the African citizens, fighting poverty and precariousness, and promoting the Moroccan-Ivorian cooperation and friendship to make it a model of an active and strong south-south partnership.

Real hubs of socio-economic development, the future unloading sites will contribute to promoting the sector of small-scale fishing through the organization and supervision of the trade, the upgrading of the product’s quality, the promotion of the lifestyle of small-scale fishermen, female wholesale fish merchants, and female fish smokers and dryers.

They will also help generate new jobs, optimize the economic performance of small-scale fishing, increase the income of the beneficiaries (over 7,000 people), and ameliorate health and hygiene conditions with the aim of achieving a sustainable and integrated human development.

Funded by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development and the agriculture ministry, with the facilitation of Attijariwafa Bank, the two projects (56.5 mln MAD) will include appropriated equipment meeting international standards, mainly fish covered markets, ice factories, cold rooms, halls for fish cutting, cleaning, smoking, and storing as well as medical branches and day care centers for the female beneficiaries’ children.

Three similar developed unloading sites are under way, notably two in Conakry and one in Dakar.

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According to a Press release from the Moroccan Palace, the King Mohammed VI held a phone conversation with President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to inquire about the health of the president. The King voiced satisfaction at his noteworthy improvement. The statement added that the talks also touched on the conclusions of the meeting held in Casablanca last December under the chairmanship of the King concerning the Morocco-Nigeria Atlantic Gazoduc and the upcoming stages of this strategic project. the King also informed president Buhari about the latest travels to many countries of the African countries, as well as Morocco’s ECOWAS adherence request and the contacts the sovereign made in this respect with the region’s heads of states.

The statement concluded that the King thanked the Nigerian leader for his personal involvement in the return of Morocco to the African Union, and assured him of his intention to make the Rabat-Abuja strategic axis a framework for consultation and cooperation on all African issues.

King of Morocco in the Côte d’Ivoire

February 28th, 2017

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During his friendship and working visit to Côte d’Ivoire, King Mohammed VI met with President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire , H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara. The two Heads of States chaired, yesterday at the presidential palace a ceremony to present the work by the Côte d’Ivoire-Morocco Economic Impetus Group.

In a presentation by the chairwoman of Moroccan employers’ association, the group succeeded, since its inception in June 2015, to reinforce cooperation between the Moroccan and Ivorian private sectors by helping them identify shared aspects of complementarity and synergy.

Côte d’Ivoire has become, over the same period, the first destination for Morocco’s foreign investment and trade exchanges between the two countries increased threefold. These investments resulted in the creation of value added and local jobs in various sectors as civil engineering, manufacturing industry, food processing, training, housing and social and economic infrastructure.

Also, The recommendations issued by the group during its latest meeting on Feb.24 as ameliorating the business framework between Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire, lifting technical obstacles hampering trade, fostering digital economy cooperation and developing common projects.

The group also recommended the creation of Business To Government (B to G) joint groups which will work closely to address obstacles facing commerce. President of Ivorian employers’ association voiced his gratitude for the King and president Ouattara for setting up such powerful cooperation tool that led to several bilateral cooperation agreements were inked since the inception of the Economic Impetus Group, which has become a model for cooperation.

Afterwards, King Mohammed VI and president of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire H.E. chaired the signing ceremony of the following 14 economic public-private and private-private partnership agreements:

- A memorandum of understanding for setting up a funding for the “HEXAGONE”, part of the priority projects of the 2016-2020 military programming law.
- A memorandum of understanding for financing the purchasing houses for military agents under the Ivorian armed forces.
- A memorandum of understanding for funding the project of building a pharmaceutical industrial unit in Côte d’Ivoire meant for manufacturing and marketing pharmaceutical products.
- A partnership agreement to subscribe to government securities issued by the State of Côte d’Ivoire in 2017.
- A partnership agreement on the setting up of a program for financing a road network in Côte d’Ivoire.
- A partnership agreement on funding women-managed SMEs.
- A framework agreement on the program of “Competences for Competitiveness and Employment”.
- A framework agreement on the development of social and solidarity-based economy and craft industry.
- An agreement on the creation of a “Technocenter” in Abidjan.
- A joint venture agreement for setting up a data processing center.
- A partnership agreement for creating a joint venture between Moroccan INVOLYS company and Côte d’Ivoire’s INOVA.
- A memorandum of understanding on the modernization and maintenance of the road transportation vehicles fleet for people and goods.
- A cooperation agreement in the field of logistics.
- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fields of public transportation and road security.

After a long day of work, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire H.E. offered, at the presidential palace in Abidjan, an official luncheon in honor of the King Mohammed VI and the delegation accompanying the sovereign.

Before that, the King of Morocco’s tour included Ghana, Zambia and Guinea.

Zambia confirms its withdrawal of its recognition of the so called polisario state

February 27th, 2017

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In a statement to the Moroccan Press agency, the Zambian Foreign Minister said: “I reiterate my statement made in Rabat on July 9, 2016,” The Zambian Minister also recalled that “Zambia supports the efforts of the United Nations to reach a final solution to the regional dispute over Western Sahara,” stressing that “Zambia is indeed anxious to contribute Constructively to these efforts, through a position of neutrality open to the stakeholders ” concluding “So I reaffirm the position of Zambia,” affirming that his country “considers that the return of Morocco to the African Union is an opportunity for the continental family to bring this question to an amicable solution in the African spirit of consensus, dialogue and mutual respect “.

King of Morocco in Guinea Conakry: South South cooperation at its best

February 26th, 2017

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King Mohammed VI and the President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Condé, held Tête-à-Tête Talks in Conakry with the President of the Republic of Guinea, H.E. Alpha Condé. The two Head of States then chaired the signing ceremony of eight bilateral cooperation agreements.

1- A convention on the upgrading of the city of Conakry.

2- A framework cooperation agreement on the implementation of projects for the aggregation of maize production in the Republic of Guinea Conakry.

3- An agreement on the creation of a cadastral system.

4- A cooperation agreement on the agricultural sector that provides for carrying out a project of hydro-agricultural development on an area between 200 and 300 ha.

5- A grant agreement relating to the project of liquid sanitation of the city of Conakry.

6- A memorandum of understanding on technical assistance.

7- A cooperation agreement relating to the project of liquid sanitation of the city of Conakry.

8- A memorandum of understanding for the supply of 100,000 tons of fertilizers to the Republic of Guinea.

The President Alpha condé emphasized that Africans rely heavily on Morocco’s presence in the African Union (AU) to get more autonomy, saying that “We rely heavily on the presence of the Kingdom in the African Union so that this organization can get more autonomy and can handle and resolve the problems of the continent”.

President Alpha Condé, recalled that “Morocco is a great African country and in Africa we rely heavily on HM King Mohammed VI to defend Africa’s interests”,

King of Morocco in Ghana

February 17th, 2017

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Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco arrived for his first visit to Ghana on Thursday, February 16, 2017. This visit seeks to deepen the existing cordial relations between Ghana and Morocco. The two countries will define new areas of co-operation that would serve their mutual interests.

Nana Akufo-Addo underlined in a speech on this occasion that the award is a “recognition of your outstanding leadership, your commitment to social justice and the sustainability of peace, stability and democracy that prevail in your country and your commendable role in forging friendly ties with Ghana and other sister African countries.”

“As King, you have brought to the high office rare qualities of dedication, integrity, sincerity, modesty and concern for the well being of all your peoples, especially the underprivileged,” he said.

“Your sensitivity to the needs of your people and your strong insistence on integrity and moral principles have won you respect and admiration worldwide,” the Ghanaian head of state underlined.

“You have steadfastly advocated and supported the pursuance of programs leading to the creation of democratic institutions with equal opportunities for all peoples for the promotion and preservation of human rights,” he added.

“Under your energetic and courageous leadership, you have persistently expressed the desire to work assiduously towards strengthening cooperation with African countries, including Ghana,” Nana Akufo-Addo stressed.

“Your Majesty, it is worthy of note that, since your ascension to the throne, the long-standing cordial relations between Ghana and Morocco have been deepened. Indeed, under your leadership, relations between Ghana and Morocco have blossomed in the areas of education and scientific cooperation,” he concluded.

Morocco and Ghana opened a new chapter in their bilateral ties with the signing of 25 cooperation agreements during a ceremony chaired by King Mohammed VI and the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Five of the agreements were signed between the two governments to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture, industry, investments, double taxation avoidance and normalization.

The rest of the agreements were signed by the private sector actors in the two countries providing for cooperation in the fields of investments, environment, trade, enterprises promotion, banking, technical cooperation, insurance, small-scale agriculture, renewable energies, scientific and technical cooperation, tourism, infrastructure and finance.

As was the case with previous African tours prior to joining the African Union, Morocco opted for the share and transfer of know-how and contributed to efforts to build a safe and solidarity-based future for the continent.

In Accra, King Mohammed VI held talks with the Ghanaian president on the means to further bolster the political and economic partnership between their two countries.

The West African state was among the group of 28 AU member countries of African Union (AU) to have signed a motion in support of Morocco’s territorial integrity.

The King’s visit to Accra was preceded by a Moroccan-Ghanaian business forum during which businessmen from the two countries discussed investment opportunities.

Political ties between the two countries have been following the rising trend of their bilateral trade exchanges. Between 2006 and 2010, trade between Morocco and Ghana grew by an average 33% to stand at 76 million dollars of which Morocco exported 70 million dollars.

Prospects for further boosting economic partnerships between the two countries abound.
Ghana, the largest economy in the ECOWAS after Nigeria, is among the three largest economic partners of Morocco in the African sub-region.

Ghana is the second country the king visits after Morocco’s triumphal return to the African Union on January 30. Before Ghana, the Sovereign visited South Sudan.

This new Royal tour in Africa is expected to take the Sovereign to Zambia, Kenya, Guinea- Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali.

Morocco back into the African family with open arms despite Algeria’s stubborness

February 3rd, 2017

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The African Union welcomed Morocco back into the family with open arms after a 33-year absence, despite stiff resistance from some member states like Algeria over the status of the self acclaimed government of the polisario, a separatist movement hosted and supported by Algeria for over 40 years.

An overwhelming majority of African countries voted in favor of Morocco’s return during the 28th Summit of African Heads of State and Government, which was held in Addis Ababa.

King Mohammed VI made a trip on this happy occasion and in his speech he said that “this is the path to solidarity, peace and union chosen by my country. We reaffirm our commitment to the development and prosperity of African citizens. We, peoples of Africa, have the means and the genius; together, we can fulfill the aspirations of our peoples.”

The King of Morocco has been investing in Africa’s future for a long time even while outside the African Union and after the readmission of Morocco into the family, African heads of state reacted very positively to this action.

Guinean President and chairman of the African Union (AU) Alpha Conde paid tribute to King Mohammed VI, hailing the content of the speech delivered by the Sovereign before the African summit.

Conde, who was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 28th AU Summit, said that the King “spoke with his heart” at a time when “Africa must take its destiny into its own hands”.

The Guinean President, who will hold the presidency of the AU for the next twelve months, noted that the pan-African organization “must rely on its own forces” to meet the many challenges ahead.

Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno also hailed the return of Morocco to the African Union saying that “It is with great joy that we have welcomed the decision of HM King Mohammed VI to return” to the African institutional family, Chadian President told reporters on the sidelines of the 28th African Union Summit held in the Ethiopian capital.

“Today, Morocco marks its return to the African family,” he noted, adding that “Morocco is a very big African country that we have missed for 33 years.”

“The return of Morocco adds value to our union and our continent,” Chadian President pointed out.

In Brussels, the European Union expressed its keenness to work with Morocco in order to consolidate the EU’s growing partnership with Africa. “We look forward to working with the African Union and Morocco to strengthen the EU’s growing partnership with Africa,” said the spokesman of the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

The African Union and Morocco are “key partners” for the European Union, he said, noting that “regional cooperation and integration are crucial for prosperity, stability and peace.”

Moroccan King: Acts of Solidarity with South Sudan

February 3rd, 2017

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Accompanied by the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, King Mohammed VI handed a donation of medical equipment to the hospital of the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

The two head of states visited as well the Royal Armed Forces’ field hospital which was set up in Juba and which comprises 20 specialist doctors and 18 nurses and provides medical services in various specialties including pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, cardiology, traumatology, dentistry, ophthalmology and ENT medicine. The hospital has also a medical laboratory and a pharmacy.

During the period of January 23 to February 1, the hospital received 4,583 patients and provided 7.936 medical consultations, including 1,259 emergency cases.

This initiative is part of the social and humanitarian dimension of the active, multifaceted and dense cooperation linking Morocco and several African countries even before the readmission of Morocco into the African Union after 33 years of absence from the African family.

Morocco to Launch Second Phase of Illegal Immigrants Regularization Campaign

December 14th, 2016

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The National Commission in charge of Illegal Immigrants’ Regularization said on Monday that in accordance with the high instructions of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the second phase of the campaign for the regularization of the situation of illegal immigrants in Morocco will be launched as already planned for the end of 2016.

During the King’s visits to sub-Saharan African countries, several Heads of State congratulated the Sovereign and the Kingdom of Morocco for its migration policy, which aims at promoting the economic and social integration of illegal immigrants mainly those from Sub-Saharan African countries, the commission added in a statement.

This second phase will take place under the same conditions as the first phase, which involved about twenty-five thousand people. In a speech to the nation on the occasion of the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, the King said that “Morocco was one of the first countries of the South to adopt a genuine solidarity-based policy regarding sub-Saharan migrants.” adding that “This integrated policy, which is rooted in humanitarian values, is designed to make sure migrants’ rights and dignity are safeguarded,”

“As part of the implementation of this policy, my country has, without any arrogance, pomposity or discrimination, regularized the situation of migrants using fair and reasonable standards. It has provided the conditions needed for migrants to reside, work and lead a dignified life within our community,” HM the King pointed out. “This is hardly surprising on the part of Moroccans, considering the way they always treat their guests. Generosity, hospitality and the warmth of their welcome have long been deep-rooted features of our identity and culture.”

“I am deeply satisfied to note that migrants are hardworking people, who are known for their good behavior, their commitment to the rule of law and their respect for Moroccan values and sanctities.” “Let me add, in this regard, that we are only fulfilling our duty towards these people, whose circumstances have led them to risk their lives and leave their families and homeland.”

“Morocco, which has long rejected the methods adopted by some to address migration issues and which have turned out to be a failure, is proud of what it is doing in terms of receiving and integrating migrants. It will keep up this practical, humanitarian approach.”

While Morocco is doing all this great work, the neighboring Algeria is kicking out all sub-Sahara migrants who have walked through its territory hoping to cross to Europe for a better future.

The King of Morocco receives a warm brotherly welcome in Abuja

December 4th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI arrived on Thursday in Abuja for an official visit to Nigeria, third leg of a royal tour that took the sovereign to Ethiopia and Madagascar. Over the last few weeks, the King has been visiting various African countries in a bid to diversify its partnerships in Africa and to strengthen the model of South-South cooperation that Morocco has developed with its traditional partners in the continent.

Upon the Arrival of the Moroccan delegation, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, gave King Mohammed VI an official ceremonial welcome. After the traditional ceremony to honor distinguished guests of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, King Mohammed VI was then welcomed by president Muhammadu Buhari. The two leaders headed for the VIP stand to salute the national flags while the anthems of the two countries were playing. The official Moroccan delegation includes Public and Private sectors leaders.

After this official ceremony, the Two Heads of State chaired the ceremony to launch a strategic partnership in order to develop the fertilizer industry in Nigeria. The two leaders also chaired the signing ceremony of several bilateral agreements on the fields of agriculture, fisheries, air services and renewable energy.

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As commander of the Faithful and the highest respected religious authority in the country, King Mohammed VI and president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, performed the Friday prayer at the Abuja’s National Mosque. Following this prayer, the King granted the parties in charge of Nigeria’s religious affairs management ten thousand copies of the Holy Quran, published by the Mohammed VI Foundation to be distributed in the Nigerian mosques. This represents a good opportunity for the two Heads of State to work on the issue of radicalization that is affecting all Moslem countries.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s full interview on his visits to Africa

November 28th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco who is in an official visit to Madagascar has been the focus of the local media that reported on all the great things the King of Morocco brought with him to further promote the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Following the success of COP22, His Majesty offered security material to assist Madagascar in the organization of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of Francophonie. The Moroccan delegation was present heavily at this event.

The local press also reported on the King’s religious diplomacy when he performed the Friday prayer at the Antananarivo Mosque. Morocco’s history of coexistence between different faiths can be an example for the rest of the continent where live many religious minorities sharing the same territory like the case for Madagascar.

The King of Morocco also granted an exclusive interview to Malagasy Press. Here is the full text:

“Q: Your Majesty, Thank you for receiving us. You are in Madagascar as part of a tour in Africa. What do these visits to African countries inspire you?

A: Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to my African brothers and our continent. Each visit to Africa is an opportunity to reconnect with the African populations that I admire and respect, they teach me true wealth… the wealth of the heart.

Morocco and Africa are one. To separate them would be an uprooting, an error.

During my visits to Africa or through the projects that I initiate in the continent, it is not a question of giving lessons. Rather, I suggest that we share our experiences.

Of course, the challenges in Africa are great. But the women, men and children I meet during My visits give me the strength to continue. They make me proud to be African, to be, as deemed by the President of the Republic a “son of the country”.

Q: You have just returned from Antsirabe where you attended a number of ceremonies and You went to the places where the Royal Family used to live. How was the visit?

A: My Wednesday’s visit was very moving. My Grandfather and the Royal Family lived two years in Antsirabe. Contrary to exile experiences in general, my family has maintained a good memory of this forced stay and has maintained a strong relation with Madagascar, especially Antsirabe.

This is why I wanted to visit the city and launch projects for its population: I would like to set up a vocational training center in the field of tourism and construction and build a mother-child hospital, which will also provide training for medical staff.

In this regard, I would like to remove any ambiguity: the rumors that these projects would only benefit the Muslim community are totally false. These projects are, of course, intended for the entire population.

The King of Morocco is Amir Al Mouminine, Commander of the Faithful, the faithful of all religions.

The Malagasy people are an open people, a people with a pure heart. My country, Morocco does no proselytism and does not seek to impose Islam. Morocco adopts a moderate and tolerant Islam.

I met the Imam of the Mohammed V Mosque in Antsirabe, who he has already visited Morocco and received training in “The Mohammed VI Institute of Imams, Morchidine and Morchidate”. This is a center in which an increasing number of participants from different countries aspire to get training.

Q: How does your Majesty intend to promote partnership between Morocco and Madagascar?

A: Prior to this particularly symbolic trip to Antsirabe, I chaired, in Antananarivo, with HE the President, the signing ceremony of many cooperation agreements, which reflect the will of the Moroccan State to help the Malagasy government and improve the living conditions of its population. This is the sense of the projects of construction of social infrastructure and economic development.

Madagascar has undeniable assets to succeed. Morocco is ready to support its ministerial departments, public companies and private sector.

I would particularly encourage the Moroccan private sector to undertake projects in Madagascar, on the basis of cooperation on an equal footing with its Malagasy counterparts.

At the time of the Paris Conference, I will be visiting Abuja. I will nevertheless guarantee that Morocco will be present in Paris: a large delegation will support the priority infrastructure projects in Madagascar, and representatives of the government and the private sector will actively participate in its works.

As I do everywhere in Morocco and elsewhere, I will personally follow the implementation of all of these actions.

I will therefore return to Madagascar.

Q: What about the African continent, Your Majesty?

A: The model of cooperation that We want to implement here is similar to those we have developed in many other African countries.

Indeed, I would like to establish strong and solidarity-based South-South cooperation between many African countries.

As I said in My Speech in Abidjan, in February 2014, “Africa shall trust Africa”. Within the framework of cooperation without complexes, we can all together build the future.

Morocco has projects in various African countries. We give and share without arrogance or feeling of colonization. I urge Moroccan companies to use local consultants and workforce.

I pay several visits to the countries of the continent to materialize this model of inter-African cooperation. I feel good and comfortable in this continent and I appreciate the kindness and affection shown to me by the people.

I have an ever stronger pride in being an African. I also feel strongly attached to this continent.

Q: Is this part of Morocco’s return to the African Union?

A: I know that the Moroccan presence in Africa and particularly my current tour are displeasing to some.

Nevertheless, everyone acknowledges that We have not waited for the announcement of Morocco’s return to the AU to work and invest in Africa.

All countries, long-time friends or new friends, particularly in East Africa, are unanimous in supporting Morocco’s reintegration in the AU.

I have initiated these visits without preconditions. I am glad of the positive feedback expressed by my hosts. I extend My thanks and gratitude to them”.

Twenty-two Bilateral Cooperation Agreements between Morocco and Madagascar

November 23rd, 2016

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The King of Morocco and the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Chaired the Signing Ceremony of Twenty-two Bilateral Cooperation Agreements

One of the agreements aim at upgrading and preserving the Canal of Pangalanes. This project concerns the setting up of tools for safeguarding ecosystems of sites adjacent to the canal, mainly in relations to ecological, agricultural, industrial, mining, port, urban, cultural and tourist aspects.

In addition to this agreement, the others concern the fields of agriculture, banking, civil service, youth and sports, taxes, renewable energy, education and vocational training.

In line with King Mohammed VI vision which aimed at fostering south-south partnership, these agreements involve different sectors and seek to reinforce partnership between the employers’ associations of both countries, as well as the legal framework governing bilateral cooperation.

Morocco-Ethiopia: a common vision for the development of Africa

November 21st, 2016

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco who is in a second tour of Africa these past few months stopped in Ethiopia to further reinforce bilateral relations with this brotherly county.
Up on his arrival with a very important delegation, King Mohammed VI was warmly welcomed by the Ethiopian Head of State.

On Saturday, The King and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Dessalegn, chaired in Addis Ababa, the launching ceremony of a project to build an integrated platform for fertilizer production in Ethiopia which will require a total investment of nearly 3.7 billion dollars.

This South-South partnership is part of a common vision for the development of Africa between Morocco and Ethiopia and a strong willingness to strengthen economic ties.
The King and the Ethiopian Prime Minister also chaired the signing ceremony of the following Private/Private agreements:

• A memorandum of understanding in the field of water.
• The establishment of a bilateral business council between the Moroccan employers’ association (CGEM) and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA).
• A memorandum of understanding between Anouar Invest Group, BMCE Bank of Africa and the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
• A memorandum of understanding between the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Holmarcom and BMCE Bank.
• A memorandum of understanding between the Ethiopian Investment Commission and Tanger Med. SA (TMSA).

Africa Action Summit: Morocco leader in building the continent

November 17th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI gave, on Wednesday, a speech at the opening of the “Africa Action Summit”, held in Marrakesh on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).

following is the full text of the speech:

“Distinguished Heads of State and Government of African sister nations,
Your Excellency Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, current Chairman of the African Union,
Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Kingdom of Morocco, and the city of Marrakesh in particular, are delighted to welcome you to the “Africa Action Summit”, which is being held on the sidelines of the COP22.
We are honored to have you here with us today. Your presence is a testament to your commitment to an African continent that is looking to the future and shaping its own destiny.
I have taken the initiative to invite you to this Summit so that our Continent may agree on a common approach to fighting climate change as well as on actionable measures for sustainable development.
Bringing large-scale regional and transnational projects to fruition is the challenge I am inviting you to take up.

I suggest that we build an African continent that is resilient to climate change and that commits resolutely to sustainable development; an African continent that will use its resources in an optimal way, while respecting environmental and social balances; a continent that will seek to promote inclusive development, in line with the specific features of its identity, particularly the culture of sharing, of fairness and of solidarity.

Before going any further, I would like to raise a fundamental question.
It goes without saying that the concern about the future of our planet and the interest taken in the issue by active civil society organizations are real.
But are there really any common, action-oriented objectives? There are two basic elements I would like to consider with you in this regard.

First, there is a disparity between the North and the South when it comes to culture and the environment. That disparity concerns priorities as well as means.
For this reason, it is important to harmonize, even unify, environmental education efforts. The Moroccan Presidency will seek to achieve that objective during its term.
Do we need to point out that the colonial era is over, and that imposed decisions cannot be productive? Do we need to point out that stakeholders lack neither the commitment nor the goodwill required, though they sometimes lack the necessary means?

We are all aware that what is at stake is the preservation of life, and that we need to work together to protect the Earth. It is precisely for this reason that I would like to see a convergence of views regarding our actions on the ground.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Africa is paying a heavy price in the climate equation. It is, undoubtedly, the continent that is suffering the most.
Rising temperatures, shifting seasons and successive droughts are depleting the biodiversity of our continent, destroying ecosystems and jeopardizing Africa’s progress, security and stability.
And yet, our continent is responsible for only 4% of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, climate change on a global scale is significantly hampering Africa’s development and poses a serious threat to the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans.
As a result, all types of vulnerabilities are concentrated in our continent.

There are already 10 million climate refugees in Africa. By 2020, nearly 60 million people will be displaced because of water scarcity if no measures are taken in this regard.
The immense freshwater reservoir that Lake Chad used to be has already lost 94% of its surface area and is facing the risk of drying up once and for all.
4 million hectares of forest – that is to say, twice the global average – are lost each year.

African agriculture – which consists predominantly of subsistence farming – employs 60% of the African workforce; yet our crops suffer from severe disruptions, and our food security is seriously jeopardized.
Agricultural output in Africa could therefore drop by 20% by the year 2050, at a time when our population will have doubled.
Entire sections of the coastline and almost a third of coastal infrastructure would be submerged.

Water-borne diseases, which kill thousands of people each year, would be eradicated if wastewater treatment plants were created.
Finally, the degradation of land and of natural resources could continue to be the main driver of most transnational conflicts in Africa.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Paris Climate Agreement, which was adopted to the satisfaction of all, enshrines the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
It is important that our continent speak with one voice, demand climate justice as well as the mobilization of the necessary resources and submit concerted proposals in connection with the fight against climate change.

There are four things that need to be done:
• identify measures to gain access to funding in order to organize the continent’s adaptation efforts;
• identify the mechanisms needed to support the implementation of flagship programs;
• ensure institutional capacity building in our continent;
• and finally, seize opportunities and study the implications of low-carbon development in the fields of energy, technological innovation and “green” jobs.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

African stakeholders showed remarkable dynamism during the thematic days of COP22.
In addition to being project promoters, they have joined many Coalitions, Alliances and Networks of the Global Climate Action Agenda.
It is gratifying to see these continental and regional actions. Not only do they increase our continent’s resilience in the face of climate change threats, but they also allow for the common, sustainable emergence of our continent.

My brothers the Heads of State will have the opportunity today to tell us about the projects they are spearheading and championing.
We are duty-bound to lend political support to these initiatives, to mobilize the means and competences required for their implementation, to put them into perspective and to ensure their coherence.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Kingdom of Morocco is a committed actor in the task of consolidating regional security and stability.
In this regard, it is determined to enhance its contribution to defending the vital interests of the continent, alongside sister nations and, soon, within the African Union.
As it implements its ambitious program in the field of renewable energy, Morocco is making its expertise available to its partners.

By being actively involved in projects centered on Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco is, today, contributing to bringing new partners on board, both public and private, as well as structuring governance mechanisms.
My country will also lead an African climate expertise network, through the Climate Change Competence Center based in Morocco.

Aware of the vulnerability of the agricultural sector and of its vital importance, Morocco is actively preparing for the implementation of the “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (Triple A) initiative.
This innovative system promotes the adoption and financing of solutions to increase productivity and ensure food security.

Finally, given the share allocated to Africa in terms of resources to combat climate change, Morocco has made financing a priority issue of the COP22.
In addition to the funding provided for in the Paris Agreement as of 2020, the Moroccan Presidency is keen to see public funding mobilized, financial arrangements diversified and access to climate funds facilitated.

Moreover, Morocco encourages the involvement of Sovereign Funds in order to develop green infrastructure in Africa.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our partners in the South and the North, as well as the international and regional institutions operating in the field of development financing, have a crucial role to play in shoring up Africa’s collective effort. Doing things ourselves and for ourselves is imperative. And involving our strategic partners has now become a necessity.

By pooling efforts and consolidating cooperation with our strategic partners, I am convinced we can redress the climate injustice affecting our continent.
This twofold action will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, knowing that twelve of the seventeen SDGs are directly or indirectly linked to climate change.
To conclude, I should like to assure you that my country will undertake all necessary actions and spare no effort to make sure Africa’s voice is heard, both in the formal negotiations and in the implementation of the Global Climate Action Agenda.

I hope today’s meeting will not only be a decisive step and a worthwhile exercise, but will also reflect our commitment, before history, towards future generations.

Thank you for your kind attention.”

Ban Ki Moon: “I have deep admiration and respect for His Majesty King Mohammad VI and his government leaders and people”

November 17th, 2016

UN press on Morocco

After a long conflict between Morocco and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the waters cleared out after his participation in COP22. this showed at a press conference When Ban Ki Moon was asked a question on UN and Morocco relationship.

The UN website published the Ban’s statement on http://unfccc.int/meetings/marrakech_nov_2016/items/10041.php

“First of all, I have deep admiration and respect for His Majesty King Mohammad VI and his government leaders and people. I have a long experience and relationship starting since my days as a student, 1984, starting with my first visit to Morocco. Now as Secretary-General I have been working very closely with the Moroccan government, diplomats and political leaders, including King Mohammad VI. I am looking forward to my meeting, bilateral meeting, with him today, possibly. And I am grateful for His Majesty convening this very important COP meeting, immediately after the Paris Agreement. This is the first meeting, most crucial meeting, to make sure that the world is united; governments, business and civil society. And I have already seen such great excitement and passion among Member States. This is the leadership Morocco has been showing. Morocco is a very important country, Member State of the United Nations, not only on the African continent or in the Middle East but as a whole, providing many young men and women to keep peace and security around the world. And Morocco has been showing a great example based on democratic institutions, making sustainable development and championing climate change actions. Now I sincerely hope that here in Marrakech, we will set another very important commitment, a passionate commitment, to make this world better for all – and I count on His Majesty’s continuing leadership and guidance on this matter. Merci. Shoukran.”

Moroccan-Senegalese Economic Impetus Group’s Work

November 10th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI and President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, chaired, on Wednesday the ceremony to present the work by the Moroccan-Senegalese Economic Impetus Group.

At the beginning of this ceremony, Minister of foreign affairs and Senegalese expatriates Mankeur Ndiaye presented, in his capacity of co-chairman of the Moroccan-Senegalese Economic Impetus Group, a report on the meeting by the group members, held on Tuesday in Dakar, and focusing mainly on the elaboration of four important partnership agreements which the two parties agreed to sign.

It is a partnership agreement on joint actions for tourism promotion and development between the Moroccan Tourism Office and the Senegalese Agency for Tourism Promotion, and an agreement on the creation of a periodic exhibition on social and solidarity-based economy and handicraft, the sharing of INDH good practices and the community development urgency program.

The two parties also agreed to ink a partnership agreement to set up, in Senegal, a center for digital competences and a draft agreement on a joint venture between Moroccan logistics group “La Voie Express” and Senegalese company “Tex Courrier”.

Two other partnership and bilateral cooperation agreements are also under way. The follow-up meeting of the group shows the exceptional relations between Senegal and Morocco, as well as the dynamic of economic cooperation and business partnership promoted by the two countries. On this occasion, the group members expressed their commitment to striving for the establishment of a win-win partnership between the private sector of the two countries.

The inception of the new group is an implementation of the King’s instructions to further strengthen ties with Senegal, a sister country with which Morocco has a fruitful and multi-faceted cooperation.

the King of Morocco made a Donation of Medicines to Senegalese National Council for the Fight Against AIDS

November 9th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI, accompanied by President of the Republic of Senegal HE. Macky Sall, made a donation to the Senegalese National Council for the fight against AIDS. This initiative is part of the active and multifaceted cooperation binding Morocco and Senegal.

It also mirrors the King’s willingness to contribute to the progress and prosperity of the brotherly people of Senegal, the improvement of health and living conditions of vulnerable population and to the creation of necessary conditions for achieving sustainable human development.

The donation of 1.6 tons of medicines for the treatment of opportunistic diseases and infections caused by AIDS/HIV, offered by the Mohammed VI Foundation for sustainable development to the Senegalese National Council for the fight against AIDS, includes three medicine classes, namely antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal.

An other important event was also the launch in Dakar of a project to set up an Entrepreneurship Training Center, a project that confirms the sovereign’s continuous commitment to solid, active and solidarity-based south-south cooperation.

The center will be built in the new urban zone of Diamniadio (Dakar) and will offer technical training to create enterprises. The future facility will train 300 young people yearly on entrepreneurship, assist 100 young people holding projects to set up their enterprises, in addition to training on tourism trades with an initial capacity of 100 students annually.

The training starts first with the selection and guidance for candidates (‘Soft Skills’ training, entrepreneurship unit), then the choice of project holders (individualized assistance for project setting up, internship) and afterwards support to create enterprises (funding support mechanism, mentoring and entrepreneurial coaching), Terrab added.

The center will offer a training program that is adapted to the local context and includes basic courses (management, accounting..) and practical internships with the aim of setting up businesses, he noted, underlining that at the end of the training cycle, the students will possess the tools enabling them to create their own enterprises which will facilitate their professional and social integration.

King Mohammed VI in Senegal: South-South cooperation for the development of the continent.

November 8th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI and President of the Republic of Senegal, HE. Macky Sall, chaired, on Monday at the presidential palace in Dakar, the launch ceremony of a partnership to support small-scale agriculture and rural areas in Senegal.

This partnership program is developed in accordance with the High Royal instructions to benefit the Senegalese State from Morocco’s expertise in developing small-scale agriculture, notably as part of Morocco Green Plan.

The partnership for the support of small-scale agriculture and rural areas in Senegal is based on the joint approach of four key actors, namely Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development, Moroccan Groupe Crédit Agricole, Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire, and the ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Later on, the King and the Senegal President chaired the signing ceremony of two agreements on the implementation of the Moroccan-Senegalese agricultural partnership program.

The first agreement provides for the establishment of a funding mechanism to support small-scale agriculture and rural areas, while the second concerns the implementation of a development plan for octopus fishing between the Moroccan and the Senegalese governments.

The agreements reflect King Mohammed VI’s commitment to consolidating South-South cooperation, as well as the common will of the two Heads of State to further promote relations between Senegal and Morocco.

Another major program was the Launch by the two heads of state of the Octopus Development Plan for Senegal. This Plan will be carried out over five phases and seeks mainly octopus’ preservation and promotion, the restoration of this resource stock and its protection against socio-economic impacts.

On this occasion, the King of Morocco handed the Senegalese authorities a grant composed of 12 engines (inflatable boats) for rescue operations and monitoring fishing activities.

Morocco, Tanzania Agree to Strengthen relations, Explore New Aspects of Cooperation

November 2nd, 2016

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Morocco and the United Republic of Tanzania agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in various sectors and to explore new aspects of cooperation.

A joint statement issued after the official visit by the King of Morocco to the United Republic of Tanzania on October 23-25, the two heads of state “agreed to strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation in various sectors, including tourism, agriculture, railways and trade,” and also decided to “continue to explore new aspects of cooperation, particularly in economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields, as well as cooperation on security and the fight against terrorism and radicalism, for the mutual benefit of both countries and peoples”.

The statement added that the two leaders “welcomed the friendship between the two countries and pledged to work together to strengthen bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries,” that Morocco and Tanzania reiterated on this occasion, their willingness to open a Moroccan embassy in Tanzania and a Consulate General of the United Republic of Tanzania in Morocco.

In order to meet the aspirations of the two peoples, the two Heads of State instructed their ministers and senior officials to work with determination in order to implement the agreements signed between Morocco and Tanzania, the statement said, adding that it is in this spirit that His Excellency President Magufuli decided to exempt Moroccan nationals form visa requirement to enter the Tanzanian territory.

As far as Africa is concerned, Tanzanian President Commends the King’s Leadership in Promoting Peace, Stability and Development in Africa. He also expresses Support for Morocco’s Decision to Rejoin African Union and the two countries and agreed to work together and coordinate their respective efforts to face the challenges the continent is facing in terms of development, stability and security.

The Tanzanian Head of State also paid tribute to Morocco’s pioneering role in promoting economic growth and sustainable development within various international forums, welcoming the decision of Morocco to host the COP 22, to be held on November 7-18 in Marrakech.

King of Morocco fighting extremism in East Africa

October 26th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, in the presence of Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, launched the construction works of a new mosque in Dar es Salaam was named “the Mohammed VI Mosque”.

This lofty royal decision came as a response to a request by His Eminence Mufti Sheikh Abu-Bakr Ibn Zubayr Benali, President of the National Muslim Council of Tanzania, who expressed the need for a mosque and its facilities in Dar es Salaam.

The area of this religious and cultural landmark is 7,400 square meters; it includes a prayer room that accommodates more than 5,000 worshipers, a library, a conference hall, administrative facilities, a parking lot and green spaces.

The Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Tanzania, who is also a founding member of the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema, gave a speech wherein he expressed his thanks and gratitude to the King for building a grand mosque in Dar es Salaam and naming it after him.

Later on, a cooperation agreement in the field of religious affairs was concluded and signed between the Mufti and the Moroccan Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq. It covers traditional education, religious foundations, construction and management of mosques, exchange of experiences, and other forms of cooperation which aim to preserve authentic Islamic values and help prevent all forms of deviation and extremism.

At his arrival at the mosque building site, the sovereign was greeted by the Mufti Sheikh Abu-Bakr Ibn Zubayr Benali, the governor of Dar es Salaam, the city’s mayor and other Tanzanian religious figures.

After Rwanda, King Mohammed VI is in Tanzania

October 25th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco is on a tour of the Eastern part of Africa to reinforce the bilateral relationships of the Kingdom and promote the economy. After Rwanda, King Mohammed VI is in Tanzania.
After a warm welcome by the Tanzanian President, John Pombe Magufuli, the two head of states held a private meeting at the Presidential palace and, on Monday, they chaired, in Dar es Salam, the signing ceremony of 22 bilateral agreements. These agreements involve economic, scientific and cultural cooperation, the establishment of a mechanism for political consultation, the field of hydrocarbons, energy, mining and geology, air transportation, agriculture, fisheries, fertilizers, renewable energy, tourism, culture insurance in Tanzania, the promotion of industrial and logistical clusters, and the development of logistical and railway corridors between Tanzania’s ports and industrial clusters.

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These agreements touch also on the partnership between the two countries’ employer associations, health, the banking sector, the promotion and funding of trade and investment in Africa, insurance, as well as the setting up of a unit for upmarket tea packaging.

In a speech on this occasion, the Tanzanian President thanked the King for his official visit to Tanzania and said that “Tanzania is ready to cooperate with all its strength with You”, adding that the agreements signed will contribute to the industrialization, transformation and modernization of the economy of Tanzania, a country with important natural and mining resources. At the beginning of the ceremony, Tanzanian minister of foreign affairs and East Africa, Augustine Mahiga, stated that these agreements will write a new chapter in the history of the bilateral relations between Morocco and Tanzania.

After the signing ceremony, Tanzanian President Hosts an Official Dinner in Honor of King Mohammed VI and his important delegation.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco in visit to Rwanda: South-South cooperation in action

October 20th, 2016

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The King of Morocco is on his first visit of its kind to Rwanda after multiple visits to different African countries earlier this year to consolidate Morocco’s presence in the continent and reinforce South-South cooperation.

The Moroccan monarch is accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, including several ministers. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was in Morocco last June, invited the king to his country.
President Kagame reserved a warm welcome to the Moroccan monarch. It’s expected that Morocco opens an embassy in Kigali before the end of the year.

Economic ties and trade top the agenda.

On Thursday October 20th, King Mohammed VI and President of the Republic of Rwanda, chaired, a ceremony to launch an agriculture partnership program between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Rwanda.
This program was elaborated in conformity with the Royal Instructions to help Rwanda benefit from Morocco’s experience in terms of small agriculture, mainly the expertise related to the Moroccan Green Plan.

Launched in April 2008, the ambitious Moroccan Green Plan was aimed at turning the Agricultural sector into an important lever for socio-economic development and has contributed to increasing the income of thousands of small farmers and improving their living conditions.

The Morocco-Rwanda agriculture partnership program is based on sharing the Morocco expertise to meet the Rwandan potential and seeks to promote technical cooperation in the fields of irrigation infrastructure and animal health. It is also meant to help Rwandan farmers benefit from the expertise of Morocco’s “groupe Crédit agricole”, the “Mutuelle Agricole Marocaine d’Assurances” (MAMDA) and OCP group regarding, respectively, the integration of small farmers in systems of funding, and of multi-risk insurance and the setting up of a database on soil fertility (fertility card).

It is worth mentioning here that Morocco, which will host the 22nd conference of parties to the UN framework convention on climate change (COP22), proposes an ambitious initiative on the adaptation of African agriculture and the reinforcement of its resilience to face climate change.

Afterwards the launching of this crucial agricultural program, the King and the Rwandan head of state proceeded to chairing the signing ceremony of four agreements on the implementation of the Morocco-Rwanda agriculture partnership program:
- a memorandum of understanding in the field of agriculture;
- a memorandum of understanding to establish a harvest insurance;
- a memorandum of understanding in the field of fertilizers between the Rwandan ministry of agriculture and animal resources and OCP Ltd;
- a memorandum of understanding between Morocco’s Groupe Crédit Agricole and the Development Bank of Rwanda;

Another Royal activity included the visit, in Gisozi (Kigali suburbs), of the memorial commemorating the victims of the Rwandan genocide which claimed the lives of one million people in 1994.

Upon his arrival at the Memorial site, the sovereign was greeted by Julienne Uwacu, Rwandan minister of sports and culture, Jean Damascène Bizimana, executive secretary of the national committee for the fight against genocide, and the Memorial director Honoré Gatera.

Afterwards, King Mohammed VI placed a spray of flowers on one of the common graves where the remains of millions of the genocide’s victims are buried, and observed a moment of silence for the deceased’s souls.

Inaugurated in April 2004, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the Gisozi memorial includes three permanent exhibitions explaining the tragedy’s circumstances, reasons behind the growing tension between the country’s ethnic groups, what triggered the genocide and how it took place.

Speech of King Mohammed VI at the opening of the Parliament

October 16th, 2016

timthumb.phpAfter the transparent and just elections in Morocco, King Mohammed VI opened the first session of the first legislative year of the tenth legislature. The speech can be considered as a guideline to the continuation of the democratization process taking place in the Kingdom.

Following is the Full Text of this historic speech:

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Praise be to God

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

The opening of a legislative year is not just an opportunity afforded by the Constitution to address Members of Parliament. It also provides a platform to address the Government, political parties, the nation’s institutions as well as the citizens.

Not only is this an opportunity to provide guidance – and sometimes to voice criticism – regarding parliamentary and legislative work, but it is also a means whereby I can listen to the concerns and expectations of the citizens whom you represent.

I should like, first, to extend my congratulations to the members of the House of Representatives for the trust placed in them by the citizens to represent them in the legislative institution.

I also want to say that I value the public authorities’ commitment to a keen sense of national responsibility throughout the electoral process.

As the custodian of the nation’s democratic choice, I reaffirm my commitment to the multi-party system, whose foundations were laid down by my revered grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V – may he rest in peace –, and which was consolidated by my venerable father, His Majesty King Hassan II – God bless his soul; a system for which earlier generations fought hard.

The first parliamentary term following the adoption of the 2011 Constitution has now come to an end. This was a constitutive term which was characterized by the promulgation of laws for the establishment of several institutions.
The phase which is about to start is even more important than the previous ones. Indeed, it requires that we address, seriously, the real concerns of the citizens, enhance the performance of administrative bodies and improve the services they provide.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

he goal all institutions should strive to attain is to serve the citizen. Should they fail in that mission, it would mean they serve no purpose and have, as a result, no raison d’être.

As I speak to you and, through you, to all the institutions concerned and to the citizens, I want to raise a question which is of critical importance and which constitutes the very essence of institutional work.

I am referring to the citizen’s relationship with state agencies, whether they are central government departments, local government institutions, elected councils or regional ministerial departments.

By that, I also mean all institutions and bodies related to investment and encouraging businesses, even those involved in providing the most basic services to the citizens, whatever their nature.

The goal is the same: to enable the citizen to obtain the services he needs in the best conditions and shortest time frame, to simplify procedures and to make sure that services are readily available to the citizens and that institutions are accessible to them.

If all matters have to go through central government departments in Rabat, then what is the use of decentralization, of regionalization and of devolution, which we have been striving to achieve since the 1980s?

Managing the citizens’ affairs and serving their interests are both a national responsibility and a sacred trust, and in this regard there is no room for negligence or procrastination.

Regrettably, some people take advantage of the mandate granted to them by the citizens to run public affairs, giving precedence to personal and party interests over public interest, for electoral considerations.

By doing so, they fail to realize that what counts the most in elections is the citizen – not the candidate or the political party; they also erode the values underpinning lofty political action.

If these people do not want to do their job and do not care about the citizens’ interests, be it at the local, regional or even national levels, why do they get involved in politics?

True commitment to political and party principles means one should put the citizen above all other considerations; it means one should fulfil the promises made to the citizen and show dedication in serving him or her, making those promises prevail over any party or personal interests.

Because the efficiency of state agencies is a yardstick of a nation’s progress, and until the citizen’s relationship with them improves, Morocco will continue to be classified as a Third World country, or even Fourth or Fifth World country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

There is much talk about citizens meeting the country’s King and seeking his assistance to solve countless problems or to overcome difficulties.

Some people do not understand why citizens seek the assistance of their King to resolve simple problems and issues. What this means, in fact, is that something, somewhere, is not functioning properly.

Naturally, I take pride in interacting directly with citizens and in fulfilling some of their basic needs.
I will continue to do that and to serve my people. The question is: Would citizens ask me to intercede if state agencies did their job?

It goes without saying that citizens resort to me because they find doors shut, or because of some shortcomings in the work of state agencies, or because they want to bemoan some injustice they have suffered.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

State agencies are suffering from several shortcomings, including weak performance and issues relating to the quality of the services provided to citizens.

They also suffer from an inflated workforce, from the lack of competence and from the absence of a sense of responsibility among many employees.

The civil service basically suffers from a longstanding culture which is widespread among most Moroccans. For many of them, the civil service is a refuge that guarantees them a monthly salary without their having to account for performance.

The official or civil servant who holds public office, or exercises public authority that entrusts him or her with people’s affairs and interests, should at least fulfil public service obligations and seek to help people.
The civil service simply cannot accommodate all Moroccans. Similarly, access to the civil service should be on the basis of competence, merit and equal opportunity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

When dealing with state agencies, citizens face a wide range of difficulties, be it in terms of reception, communication or the processing of files and documents – so much so that in the citizen’s mind, this has come to resemble an obstacle course.

It is not reasonable that a citizen should bear the cost and trouble of going to a government institution – whether it is a consulate, a prefecture, a commune or a regional delegation – especially if he or she is from a far-off region, and find no one to receive him or her, or provide the service needed.

It is unacceptable that a government institution should fail to answer people’s queries or complaints, as if citizens did not matter, or were merely a small part of the administrative landscape.

Without citizens, there can be no state agencies. Citizens are therefore entitled to answers to their letters; they are entitled to solutions to the problems submitted to government bodies. The latter are duty-bound to explain matters to people and to justify decisions, which must be based on the law.

Many citizens complain, for instance, about expropriation issues, either because the State did not compensate them for their property, or because the compensation process took many years and was, therefore, detrimental to their interests, or because the amount of compensation was less than the market price, or for any other reason.
Expropriation should occur only in cases of absolute necessity and in the public interest, with immediate compensation based on market prices applicable on the date of the transaction; procedures for the payment of compensation should also be simplified.

Expropriated land must not be used for any purpose other than the one justifying expropriation; it must not be used for commercial or speculation purposes.

Moreover, citizens often complain about long and complex judicial procedures as well as the failure to enforce sentences, particularly against government institutions.

It is hard to understand how a government department can deprive citizens of their rights whereas, in fact, they should be safeguarding and defending those rights. How can a government official prevent people from enjoying those rights when a final judgment has been pronounced?

It is also unacceptable that state agencies should refuse to pay small and medium businesses what they owe them whereas, in fact, they should be supporting and encouraging those businesses, given the important role they play in promoting development and employment.

Citizens also complain about the abuse of power and influence peddling in state agencies, in addition to the complexity of procedures and long delays in delivering administrative documents.

It is unacceptable that a citizen should have to travel to submit all the papers required for a document and still have to wait for days – sometimes weeks – before he or she can obtain it.

In many consulates, for instance, citizens are not informed of errors in administrative documents because of the lack of follow-up mechanisms, in addition to the complicated procedures required to correct these errors.
As a result, citizens have to bear transportation costs and put up with the trouble of traveling to Morocco to obtain the supporting documents they need to correct those errors. Moreover, there is a lack of coordination between the state agencies concerned, which further delays the delivery of documents.

Among the widespread administrative issues are those relating to the implementation of the Family Law, resulting in family and social problems.

More than twelve years after the introduction of this social reform, there are some who are still unaware of the content of this law, and who do not know their rights and obligations, particularly among the Moroccan community abroad.

I therefore urge the Government and all the administrative and judicial institutions concerned to see to it that this law is properly implemented, to raise public awareness about its content and to amend and update it as may be needed, in order to overcome the problems revealed by practical experience.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Distinguished Members of Parliament,
A field which clearly illustrates the problems facing the citizens in their dealing with state agencies is that of investment; indeed, there are still hurdles to investment, despite the creation of regional centers and the single window to simplify procedures and speed up the decision-making process.
It is true that, in some cases, investors’ files are incomplete, but instead of helping these investors and proposing solutions to encourage them, matters are made more complicated for them, and additional hurdles and impediments are created.

With such a mentality and attitude, single windows will not be of any use.
I have repeatedly pointed out that problems should be dealt with and files processed on the spot. I have also given my instructions to the Government and asked for the necessary administrative measures to be taken in this regard.
What is the use of the letter I addressed to the Prime Minister in 2002, and what is the use of regionalization, decentralization and devolution if the same old situation remains, and the same old problems persist?
The situation is unacceptable and it should not continue to exist. When an investor receives no reply, or when his problem is not solved, he takes his money back to the bank, if he resides in Morocco.

If the investor is a Moroccan expatriate who chooses to invest in his home country, he has no other alternative but to take his money and go back abroad.

As a result, our country is deprived of opportunities for investment and development. And the citizens are denied employment opportunities. The single window is but one mechanism to address hurdles to investment.
If no effective solutions are found to it after all these years, then how will the other items mentioned in the letter to the Prime Minister be addressed, namely those pertaining to the relation between citizens and state agencies, the simplification of procedures and the promotion of investment?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Despite the shortcomings of some state agencies, the picture is not all bleak; nor does this mean that those agencies are not discharging their duties. In fact, they have highly professional and technical capabilities, and their performance is improving.

This is clearly evidenced by the major projects being implemented, as well as by the successful national and sectoral policies which have transformed the country, and which have played a prominent role in the progress made in all fields.
Nevertheless, my ambition goes beyond that, and the citizens’ expectations are higher than what government institutions are currently offering. In fact, state agencies need to improve performance to keep up with the progress Morocco is making.
I believe administrative efficiency contributes to promoting development and attracting domestic as well as foreign investment; it also enhances the trust enjoyed by Morocco.

Therefore, I urge everyone – the Government, Parliament, political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations and civil servants – to commit to a keen sense of national responsibility in order to come up with real solutions so as to enhance the performance of state agencies and to improve the quality of the services offered to the citizens.
Administrative reform requires a change of attitudes and mindset as well as quality laws in order to have effective state agencies that serve the citizens.

Considering the current situation, special attention should be given to staff training. Indeed, staff members are the key link in the citizens’ relationship with government institutions. Not only should they be able to work in good conditions, but there should also be incentives for them as well as accountability and sanction mechanisms.
Similarly, e-government services should be offered across the board and in an integrated manner to ensure collective access to information by all sectors and services.

The use of information technology makes it possible to facilitate quick citizen access to services, without having to go to state agencies and interact with the staff, which is the main reason for the prevalence of corruption and abuse of power.

When I laid out my conception of authority, I insisted on the need to combat those phenomena.
Advanced regionalization, which has become a tangible reality, is the basis state agencies should build on to make their services as well as decision-making centers readily available to the citizens.

In this context, I insist on the need to develop and adopt an advanced administrative devolution charter that fits the requirements of the current situation.

All parties and stakeholders are therefore called upon to be actively engaged in the institutional, development-oriented dynamic I am spearheading in the country.

Everyone is responsible for ensuring the efficiency of state agencies and enhancing the quality of the services they provide because they are the backbone of any reform and are critically important for the achievement of the development and progress we want our loyal citizens to benefit from.

“I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look”.

True is the Word of God.

Wasslamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Legislative elections in Morocco, just and transparent

October 11th, 2016

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According to Rights Groups in Morocco, the legislative elections held in the Kingdom on October 7th were just and transparent. There were more than 4,000 national and international observers throughout the country. All recognized that Morocco’s parties showed political maturity that makes of Morocco a stable democratic model in the region.

At a press conference, the Moroccan Interior Minister said that the turnout was 43% after the closing of the polls and that his department remained neutral vis a vis all political players but noted the complaints made by the winning party.

To sum up, the results confirmed that Moroccan citizens, including those living in the southern provinces of the country, exercised freely their political role by voting for the Justice and Development Party giving the PJD a second mandate.

Boeing to establish Industrial Ecosystem in Morocco: a sign for Morocco at the International level

September 29th, 2016

Boeing logo at their headquarters in ChicagoReuters reported that Morocco signed an agreement that Boeing Co (BA.N) will seek to attract its suppliers to boost the kingdom’s aeronautics industry.

The “Boeing ecosystem” project aims to bring around 120 suppliers of the company to help raise Morocco’s aeronautics exports by $1 billion and create 8,700 jobs.

Boeing already has a joint venture with France’s Safran in Casablanca to build wire bundles and harnesses for aircraft makers, including Boeing and Airbus.

This agreement was signed in the royal palace of Tangier by Moroccan trade and industry minister and the chief executive of Boeing’s airplane business, Raymond Conner. Moroccan King Mohammed chaired the ceremony.

“Boeing will actively reach out to more than 120 suppliers in the near term to encourage this to happen,” Conner said during the ceremony.

Unlike some other countries in the region, Morocco has managed to avoid a big drop in foreign investments since the global financial crisis and the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, partly by marketing itself as an export base for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

under the Leadership of King Mohammed VI, Morocco has attracted some big auto and aeronautics investors in recent years, including Delphi, Bombardier and Eaton Corp.

Polisario’s dirty PR war: The UN not buying it

August 29th, 2016

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According to some media outlets, the pseudo-SADR is spreading the rumors that it had dispatched material and military units to the border area, known as “Kandahar”, with the aim of hindering the road work between the Moroccan border “Guerigrate” and that of Mauritania. The Moroccan authorities denied this information and called it travesty of truth.

The truth of the matter is that the Front Polisario started spreading these rumors after it failed to pressure the United Nations to respond to their false claims. The UN confirmed that the activities of the Moroccan authorities in the area are normal and in accordance with the law.

It is worth mentioning here that the leaders of the Polisario are angry at the operations led by the Moroccan Authorities to clear this zone from drug trafficking and from all other illegal criminal activities booming in this area. Some members of the leadership of the polisario sponsor drug traffickers and smugglers. In fact, last Saturday August 27, a large quantity of drugs were found in one of the polisario’s police cars.

To sum up, the separatists are spreading rumors in order to calm down the explosive situation in the Tindouf camps which are currently experiencing an upsurge of anger and pressure from certain groups who took advantage of the income from smuggling and other illegal activities in that region, including the diversion of humanitarian aid.

The King’s speech: a humanitarian approach to illegal Sub-Saharan migrants

August 23rd, 2016

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The King of Morocco took the opportunity of the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of the Revolution of the People and the King to focus on issues important not only to the country but also to the region and the continent as a whole. In his speech, King Mohammed VI recalled that “Morocco was one of the first countries of the South to adopt a genuine solidarity-based policy regarding sub-Saharan migrants. This integrated policy, which is rooted in humanitarian values, is designed to make sure migrants’ rights and dignity are safeguarded.”

This humanitarian policy has earned Morocco the honor of co-chairing, alongside Germany, the Global Forum on Migration and Development for 2017-2018.

As the MENA region is failing to integrate its legal and illegal migrants, Morocco took a different path in implementing a humanitarian policy in dealing with sub-sahara illegal migrants who are using Morocco as a transit country to migrate to Europe. The King of Morocco said that “my country has, without any arrogance, pomposity or discrimination, regularized the situation of migrants using fair and reasonable standards. It has provided the conditions needed for migrants to reside, work and lead a dignified life within our community.”

It is worth noting that Morocco has always been very generous and hospitable towards its guests. “This is hardly surprising on the part of Moroccans, considering the way they always treat their guests. Generosity, hospitality and the warmth of their welcome have long been deep-rooted features of our identity and culture” stated King Mohammed VI, adding “that we are only fulfilling our duty towards these people, whose circumstances have led them to risk their lives and leave their families and homeland.”

As a conclusion, King Mohammed VI noted that “Morocco, which has long rejected the methods adopted by some to address migration issues and which have turned out to be a failure, is proud of what it is doing in terms of receiving and integrating migrants. It will keep up this practical, humanitarian approach.”

King Mohammed VI of Morocco highlights Moroccan Foreign policy priorities: Africa

August 23rd, 2016

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As accustomed, every August 20th, the King of Morocco delivers a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People. This year marks the 63rd anniversary of one of the most important national holidays in Morocco. On this occasion, King Mohammed VI’s delivered a speech highlighting Morocco’s foreign policy priorities.

The King started his speech by recalling the sacrifices made by the Moroccan People and their King to fight for their independence and the historical role the Moroccan resistance movement played in providing moral and material support to the Algerian revolution.

The King also noted that despite the extensive damage caused by colonialism, he believes that Africa is capable of ensuring its development “thanks to the resolve of African peoples and to the continent’s human and natural resources”.

The speech was also about Morocco’s determination to take its natural place within the family of the African Union as an illustration of the Kingdom’s commitment to continue supporting and promoting the causes of the African peoples and that “Africa is the natural extension of Morocco and the embodiment of the country’s strategic depth” making of Africa top priority in Morocco’s foreign policy.

The King added that Morocco and the Continent share the same destiny and that there can be no progress without stability, noting that Morocco contributes, along with other African countries, to the implementation of human development projects and the provision of social services which have a direct bearing on the lives of the peoples in the region.

It is worth mentioning that Morocco is developing infrastructure, in Africa, as well as building vocational and technical training centers and implementing projects that offer steady jobs and income and encouraging the preservation of ecosystems all in joint ventures with public and private sectors for the common good of everyone.

“This integrated, solidarity-based vision which underpins Morocco’s relations with African sister nations requires all the stakeholders that we have invited to take part in this endeavor to shoulder their responsibility and to fulfill their obligations in order to maintain Morocco’s credibility.”

The King concluded his speech by saying that “For us, Africa is not about goals and objectives; dealing with Africa involves a commitment towards the African citizen, wherever he or she may be. ” and that Morocco attaches as much importance to improving the livelihood of Africans in their countries as to African migrants in Morocco so that they do not suffer the same hardships endured in many parts of the world.

 

Majority of member states of the African Union do not recognize the RASD

July 19th, 2016

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28 African Union member states addressed a motion to His Excellency Driss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad and current Chairman of the AU, for the suspension of all RASD activities within the organization, and all its organs in order to enable the pan-African organization to play a constructive and positive role in the settlement of the regional dispute over the Sahara.

It is worth mentioning that the return of Morocco to the AU is the determination of Morocco to start a new offensive diplomacy and put an end to its absence this organization which is no longer justified since the AU has become a platform for hostilities against Morocco and its territorial integrity.

It has beccome crucial that Morocco is present within the AU structures and its various bodies to ensure an effective defense of the interests of the Kingdom and for a continuous mobilization of its friends.

The desire for the return of Morocco to the AU has been expressed by many African countries who find it an aberration that the Kingdom remains outside this organization especially that Morocco is one of its founding fathers. Therefore, several countries took advantage of the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, to appeal for the return of Morocco in the African family.

The reason being that the Kingdom of Morocco is engaged in a very intensive cooperation with almost all African countries. It is a major contributor to peace-keeping operations in the continent. In addition, the African policy advocated by King Mohammed VI has consolidated these gains by an enterprising economic diplomacy and a strong commitment in the field of cultural and religious diplomacy.

Morocco’s return is considered as the first step towards the correction of the error made by the organization to recognize the RASD despite the fact that 2/3 of its member states do not recognize the Algerian backed separatists.

What’s more, at the ratification of the Constitutive Act of the AU, Morocco made it clear to register its principled position that its accession to the Union can in no way be considered or interpreted as a recognition of the “SADR” or as an acceptance of its participation in meetings of the organization.

Several African countries call for Morocco to return to the AU was accompanied by a motion introduced by these countries to suspend the participation of “SADR” to the bodies and work of AU.

The Kingdom of Morocco seeks its legitimate place at the African Union

July 18th, 2016

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KIGALI, Rwanda, July 18

Morocco is the only African country that is not a member of the AU. It left the organization in 1984 after the AU recognized the independence of the self proclaimed Western Sahara, which is historically an integrated part of the Kingdom.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI made the announcement through a message to the AU summit being held in Rwanda stating the time had come for Morocco to rejoin its family.

“Today, Morocco wishes resolutely and unequivocally to regain its place within its institutional family and to continue to live up to its responsibilities, with even more resolve and enthusiasm. Morocco firmly believes in the wisdom of the AU and its ability to restore legality and correct mistakes along the way,” the Moroccan king said in a message delivered by a special envoy. “Our friends have long been asking us to return among them so that Morocco may take its natural place within its institutional family. That time has now come … the time for ideology is over. Our peoples need concrete, tangible action.”

For Full text: http://www.mapnews.ma/en/activites-royales/full-text-royal-message-27th-african-union-summit

“Morocco is like a tree, its roots are in Africa and the branches are in Europe”. This quote came in a speech by former King Hassan II of Morocco whose father ” was one of the emblematic figures of the development of Pan-African consciousness as well as one of the most committed architects of the historic 1961 Casablanca Conference – alongside Presidents Jamal Abdel Nasser, Ferhat Abbes, Modibo Keita, Sekou Toure and Kwame N’Kruma – a conference which heralded the advent of an emancipated Africa and which paved the way for African integration.”

King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been active in visiting many countries in the continent and getting Moroccan companies to invest in Africa and help African countries deal with the challenges of the century. Morocco reclaiming its seat at the AU is legitimate and should be the highlight of the Union especially that Morocco presents real opportunities for development, peace and stability in the continent.

Zambia Withdraws its Recognition of Polisario’s Self-proclaimed SADR

July 12th, 2016

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Saturday 9 July 2016

Zambian foreign Minister, Harry Kalaba, announced in Rabat that his country, the Republic of Zambia, is withdrawing its recognition of the so-called SADR and break off its diplomatic relations with this entity during a joint press conference with the Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Nasser Bourita.

The Zambian Minister went on to say that the Government of the Republic of Zambia expresses its “strong support for the efforts of the United Nations under the auspices of the Security Council and the UN Secretary General to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the Sahara conflict, in line with Security Council resolutions.”

US First Lady, Michelle Obama and her girls Arrive in Marrakech to promote girls’ education

June 28th, 2016

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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama and her two daughters arrived Monday night in Marrakech where they were greeted by HRH Princess Lalla Salma.

Michelle Obama will participate in an exchange on the issue of education and girls schooling. Participants will discuss the factors that prevent girls from the region to pursue quality education.

Michelle Obama’s visit will also highlight the commitments made by the Government of the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco to help adolescents in Morocco to continue their studies and not to leave school, according to the White House.

“Let Girls Learn” initiative unites the efforts and programs of several US departments, agencies and government bodies, including the USAID, the MCC, the Peace Corps and the Department of State, to overcome obstacles and challenges impeding the schooling of girls in the world.

Michelle Obama Pledges in Marrakech to Tackle School Exclusion of Girls Worldwide. “We will emerge together as a group of women to tackle this exclusion,” which affects some 62 million girls around the world, Mrs. Obama said during an exchange with Moroccan teenager girls as part of the US initiative “Let Girls Learn,”

The meeting was moderated by CNN journalist Isha Sesay and was attended by famous American actress Meryl Streep who is also very active for the access of girls to education and Indian actress Freida Pinto who advocates for girls’ right to education in the world.

Mrs. Obama’s visit to Morocco is part of the US initiative “Let Girls Learn,” launched in 2015 and supported by the First Lady of the United States.

Casablanca: Official Ceremonial Welcome reserved for the President of the Portuguese Republic in Casablanca

June 28th, 2016

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Casablanca – June 27 2016

King Mohammed VI reserved an official ceremonial welcome to President Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal. After the official ceremony, the two heads of States later met one on one to discuss issues of mutual concern and build a solid friendship.

On this occasion, the Moroccan King decorated the Portuguese Head of State with Wissam Al Mohammadi of exceptional class, the highest honor of the kingdom, and President Nuno Duarte Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa decorated the King with the Grand Collar of the Military Order of Saint James of the Sword (Portuguese: Grande-Colar da Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada), the highest honorary decoration awarded by the Portuguese President to a foreign head of State.

This visit mirrors the excellent relations of friendship, cooperation and active solidarity between Morocco and Portugal.

Portuguese President in Morocco to further consolidate the bilateral relations

June 27th, 2016

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Rabat June 26, 2016

According to a press release from the Moroccan Royal palace, Portuguese President, Marcelo Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, is expected to pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.

On this occasion, the King of Morocco will hold official talks with his illustrious guest and will offer an official Iftar in his honor and the delegation accompanying him at the Royal Palace in Casablanca.

The visit reflects the high quality of bilateral relations based on a strong and deep-rooted partnership thanks to the common will to consolidate the multifaceted ties between the two countries.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is in Morocco: South-South cooperation at its best

June 21st, 2016

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King Mohammed VI reserved an official warm welcome to the President of the Rwandan Republic, President Paul Kagame.

On this occasion, HM the King decorated Rwanda’s Head of State with the Order of Muhammad (Wissam al-Mohammadi) of special class, the highest state decoration of the kingdom.

This is a very strategic visit for both heads of states as they both have been committed to the economic development of their countries. A partnership between the two countries can only bring the two countries together to lead a south south cooperation.

Moroccan King visits Several Restored Historic Sites in Old Medina of Fez

June 20th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI visited several historic sites that have been restored under the program of the restoration of monuments of the old medina of Fez, with a budget of 285.5 million dirhams.

This visit demonstrates the continued commitment of the King to preserve the architectural character of the medina of Fez and encourage the development of this ancient city, listed in 1981 as World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This restoration project for the preservation of the collective memory is in line with the approach advocated by King Mohammed VI to enhance the intellectual capital.

This renovation program provides for restoring 27 historic sites, 26 of which are already completed, and the 27th will be launched in 2016 by a team of master craftsmen who reproduced exactly the same buildings, using their skill, ingenuity and ancestral knowledge.

Fes is a major destination of tourists and the restoration of these various sites will contribute to strengthening tourism to the old medina of Fez, promoting the city’s social and economic development and preserving its material heritage which reflects the greatness of a glorious architectural past and the authenticity of an unparalleled expertise in the cultural, urban and social fields.

Morocco: a beacon of moderate islam stretching to Africa

June 16th, 2016

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In this Holly month of Ramadan, King Mohammed VI launched a new Foundation for African Ulemas (Islamic clerics/scholars). “Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulemas,” is a new academic institution, based in the city of Fez, will enhance further the special religious and cultural ties existing between Morocco and the African countries.

This new Foundation has been set up within the frame of Morocco’s religious training program for imams and sustained efforts to counter Islamic radicalization. It is the best tool to fight Isis and other radical groups.

The Kingdom of Morocco is the beacon of Moderate Islam that has been the destination of religious scholars and countries are seeking the expertise of Morocco to help fight islamic extremism. This Foundation also comes after King Mohammed VI launched a leading Institute that provides training to hundreds of imams of various nationalities, including some from Africa and Europe.

The center teaches Imams the precepts of a tolerant and non-violent form of Islam based on Maliki rite and teach them how to fight extremism and religious radicalization through sound argumentation and dialogue.

Morocco has been providing, for many years if not for centuries, training to foreign Islamic scholars and imams, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, in order to disseminate an “Islam of the middle path doctrine,” a vision of religion based on tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect of other faiths.

this Foundation consists of more than a hundred Ulema, including 13 women, from more than 30 African countries. For its part, the Kingdom is represented in this institution by 20 members including three women.

Polisario leader dies of cancer and will be burried as a Moroccan citizen in Morocco

June 4th, 2016

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Madrid,

In response to a question from the Spanish news agency “EFE” regarding the burial of Mohamed Abdelaziz, a Moroccan official source said that Mohamed Abdelaziz will be buried in Bir Lahlou, Morocco, adding that ” this is the burial of a Moroccan citizen on a Moroccan territory and not in Tindouf camps in Algeria”.

Bir Lahlou is a territory that the Moroccan Government discussed with the UN as its own and therefore considered the burial of Abdelaziz as a normal act of burying a Moroccan citizen on a Moroccan territory.

The last trip of Ban Ki Moon to the area was politically used by the polisario and therefore caused a conflict with the SG of the UN over his reaction which resulted in a mass protest of Moroccans around the world including in Western Sahara against Ban Ki Moon.

Either way, the death or burial of Abdelaziz will have no impact on the issue because Algeria has been leading this fight for over 40 years.

Why the death of the polisario leader for 40 will not change anything in Western Sahara conflict

June 3rd, 2016

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People familiar with the issue of the Algerian backed polisario separatist movement claiming ownership of the Moroccan Southern provinces will tell you that the death of the Leader of this movement will have no impact on the issue.

Experts will also tell you that the main reason being that Algeria is the only player in the persistence of this man made conflict.

A look at the life of the head of the Polisario for 40 years has been more negative on the lives of the refugees still stranded in the Tindouf camps: no democracy, violation of human rights, illicit enrichment, involvement in all kinds of trafficking. He even promoted the installation of jihadism in the Tindouf camps, and used the racketeering of those kidnapped by jihadists for his own benefits, needless to say that he had strong ties to the totalitarian regime of Gaddafi and Fidel Castro. Every expert knows how Saharawi children were sent to Havana to become freedom fighter and the girls were forced into prostitution.

According to the Spanish site “lainformacion.com, polisario leader regretted his alliance with Algeria and according to his close friends and hospital staff where he died, the polisario leader expressed the wish to be buried in Morocco, not Algeria.

Morocco and China: An industrial and residential park in Morocco

May 13th, 2016

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Beijing:

As part of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and China, one of the major agreements singed between the two countries was a memorandum of understanding for the creation of an Industrial and residential park in Morocco.

This project came to exist since the launch of Tangier-Med project in February 2003. It is part of a coherent and ambitious vision to make of Morocco’s Northern region, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, a competitive region in the service of the overall competitiveness of the Kingdom.

In an increasingly globalized world, this project goes in perfect harmony with the spirit of the regionalization process taking place in Morocco. It will further strengthen the anchoring of Morocco in its regional sphere as an inescapable pole of exchange not only with neighboring countries but also with China, one the world’s leading industrial powers.

The King of Morocco continues his official visit to China

May 12th, 2016

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Beijing, 12/05/2016

The second day of his official visit to china, King Mohammed VI laid a wreath of flowers at the Monument to the People’s Heroes which stands in the center of Tiananmen Square north of Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. This monument was erected in memory of the martyrs who gave their lives in defense of the nation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The King had two high level meetings, the first one with the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang, and the second one with the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Both meetings which took place in the presence of hight officials from both countries were centered around ways to further deepen the discussions on issues of common interests.

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During this second day also, King Mohammed VI Chaired the signing ceremony of several public/private partnership agreementsas part of the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the People’s Republic of China.

- The first agreement is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up an industrial and residential park in Morocco between the Kingdom of Morocco and Chinese group HAITE. The MoU concerns the construction of logistical and residential zones in the region of Tangiers.
- The second is a cooperation agreement on the sector of investment and finance between the government of Morocco and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited.
- The third is a MoU on the transfer of North-South Waters between the government of Morocco and China Harbour Engineering Company ltd.
- The fourth is a draft agreement between Morocco’s office for electricity and drinking water (ONEE) and China’s SEPCO III Electric Power Construction. It touches on conducting studies to conclude a contract on the extension and maintenance of Jerada power plant.
- The fifth is a partnership agreement between the Moroccan Tourism office and China International Travel Service (CITS).
- The sixth is a partnership agreement between YANGTSE, the “Société d’Investissement Energétique” (SIE), Marita Group and the “Banque Centrale Populaire” for purchasing and building a unit for manufacturing electric buses (ultra-light) worth 1.2 billion dirhams.
- The seventh agreement concerns a partnership between Linuo Ritter, SIE, Cap Holding and Attijariwafa Bank for the creation of an industrial production unity for solar water-heaters in Morocco (worth around 96 mln dirhams).
- The eight document is a partnership agreement between Hareon Solar, SIE, Jet Contractor and Attijariwafa Bank for the development of a production unit for photovoltaic cells (1.1 billion MAD on four stages).
- The ninth is a MoU between China Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund) and Attijariwafa Bank. It seeks to back up African enterprises by completing the loan offer through a contribution in capitals and efficient governance, in addition to opening new prospects for Moroccan-Chinese investment opportunities in Africa.
- The tenth is a MoU between Haite Group, Morocco-China International and BMCE Bank of Africa. It touches on the setting up in Morocco of a Chinese-Moroccan industrial park, and a Chinese-Moroccan one-billion dollars investment fund targeting the sectors of aeronautics, finances, industrial parks and infrastructure, launching a fund management company and reinforcing partnership in the fields of life insurance in China, aircraft leasing, as well as a technical partnership to launch a bank on new technologies in China.
The eleventh is a MoU between BMCE Bank of Africa and China Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund). It concerns the funding of development projects in key-sectors in Africa, investment in markets of public and private debt in Africa, and partnership as part of the ’223′ Club, an initiative created by the BMCE Bank Group of Africa under the COP22 slated this year in Marrakech.
- The twelfth is an agreement on financing the construction of a cement plant in Morocco.
- The thirteenth is a MoU for the development of an industrial and logistical hub for manufacturing spare parts for railway, car and aeronautics industries between the Sichuan Huatie hi-tech Construction Engineering co. ltd, the “Société Nationale de Transport et de la Logistique (SNTL)” and the ATTIJARIWAFA BANK.
- The fourteenth document is a MoU for the development of logistical zones in Africa between China Harbour engineering company LTD, the SNTL and Attijariwafa Bank. It seeks to combine the Moroccan and Chinese know-how in engineering and infrastructure and benefit from the Moroccan expertize in logistical platforms development.
- The fifteenth is a MoU for China-Africa cross-border E-Trade between CLEVY CHINA, the SNTL and Attijariwafa Bank. It is meant to develop a E-market platform for Chinese products sent to Africa by using Morocco as a distribution hub and a gateway to Africa.

The signing ceremony was attended by the official delegation accompanying the King including heads of public and semi-public sectors and several Moroccan and Chinese economic operators.

The Sino-Moroccan strategic partnership is a roadmap for renewed ties between the two countries

May 12th, 2016

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On the Morocco-Chinese strategic partnership, political scientist and university professor Mustapha Sehimi said that the ” royal visit to China, following that of 2002, is a strong diplomatic act. It comes after those carried out in Russia and the Gulf”, and it reflects the reflect the importance given to the foreign policy of the Kingdom” adding that the signature of a multi faceted agreements are a “strong” pulse for this cooperation which scope expands and “opens a vast field of opportunities”

according to Professor Sehimi, this is “much more than cooperation” , “This is a leap forward in relations between the two countries,” adding that “this action has been possible because the two countries share similarities, including their constant concern for peace, stability, security and the preservation of national unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity ”

 

King Mohammed VI guest of Honor in China

May 11th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI started his official visit to China in a vision to stretch Morocco’s alliances with many countries on this economically successful continent.

Upon his arrival in Beijing, the King met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing. The talks between the two heads of states talked about ways to further strenghten the bilateral relations in order to implement the strategic partnership between Beijing and Rabat.

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These talks were followed by a signing ceremony of the joint declaration on the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as several bilateral agreements among which:
 
- A memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and construction sector;
 
- An implementation of the agreement on cultural cooperation program (2016-2020);
 
- An agreement on cooperation in the areas of geology and mines;

- A SWAP agreement currency between the Central Banks of the two countries, namely Bank Al Maghrib and the People’s Bank of China;
 
- A memorandum of understanding to strengthen tourism cooperation, particularly through the promotional activities by providing the necessary facilities on the basis of reciprocity, the training of professionals in the field of tourism, organization internships and exchange of experts and collaboration between travel agencies and national tourism offices;
 
- A an agreement of cooperation in the sectors of oil and energy; This memorandum covers the hydrocarbon sector (oil exploration, gas exploration, unconventional hydrocarbons) and Energy (Electricity, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency);
 
- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of the safety of imported and exported food products. It was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing;
 
- An agreement of cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Industry for Defense;
 
After the ceremony, the President of the Republic of China hosted an official dinner in honor of the King and his accompanying delegation.

Morocco-China: A strategic choice

May 10th, 2016

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Beijing

The visit of the King of Morocco to China is a strategic choice made by Morocco to diversify its partnerships. This visit aims at strengthening political relations between the two countries based on the principles of friendship, understanding and solidarity.

This Sino-Moroccan cooperation continues to gain in strength and depth over the years, particularly after the historic visit of King Mohammed VI to China in February 2002, as well as the visit of the Chinese President, Mr. Hu Jintao to Morocco in April 2006.

These visits paved the way for a continuous exchange of visits of delegations of the executive and legislative branches, private and academic sectors, local government and civil society. This allowed the consolidation of the legal framework of the bilateral relations between Morocco and China of various sectors such as finance, health, agriculture, tourism, sports, fishing, transport, public works and mining .

Similarly, the institutionalization of high-level political consultations boosted the relations of cooperation and partnership between the two countries, based on mutual respect, non-interference principles in internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes, coordination and mutual support in the various fora (Sino-Arab cooperation Forum, the Forum on China-Africa cooperation) and international organizations.

Rabat and Beijing also developed a strong scientific and decentralized cooperation. In terms of scientific, technical and cultural fields, the two governments set up exchange programs and scholarships to benefit Chinese and Moroccan students. China also organizes an annual training program for the benefit of Moroccan executives with the aim to benefit the Moroccan competencies of expertise gained by the Chinese in various sectors. it is worth noting that that in order to encourage the development of the teaching of Chinese language and culture in Morocco, two chapters of the Confucius Institute emerged in two different Moroccan universities: the first in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University Mohammed V in Rabat, and the second one at the University Hassan II in Casablanca.

What added to the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation was the conclusion of important sister city programs between Morocco China, to name a few, Shanghai-Casablanca, Tangier-Qingdao, Mohammedia-jiangyin, Fès-Wux
Qongming-Chefchaouen and Agadir-Hangzhou. In the health sector, eight Chinese medical teams composed of 79 doctors operate in Morocco.

The official visit undertaken by King Mohammed VI to China will also participate in the promotion of triangular cooperation China-Africa-Morocco, especially that the Kingdom now has a pioneering experience in Africa translated by development projects and the agreements concluded during the recent visits of the King Mohammed VI to several African countries.

This visit is an opportunity for Morocco to diversify its partnerships, to consolidate its position on the regional as well international levels, and to create a real model for South-South cooperation based on a win-win partnership, a judicious and optimum use of potentials and wealth.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco expected in China for an official Visit as of Wednesday

May 9th, 2016

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According to a press release from the Moroccan royal palace today that, at the invitation of Chinese president, H.E. Xi Jinping, King Mohammed VI will be in China as of Wednesday this week on an official visit.

The press release added that during this visit, the King will hold talks with Chinese President and the two Heads of State will chair a signing ceremony of many bilateral agreements on different fields of cooperation, concluding that, during this visit, a Strategic Partnership between Morocco and China will be launched.

King of Morocco strenghtening his country’s relations with the GCC countries

May 2nd, 2016

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King Mohammed VI Meets in Abu Dhabi with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zaid Al Nahyan on an official visit to UAE coming from Qatar. A very warm and official welcome was reserved for the Moroccan King and his large delegation composed of his counselors, government officials and members of the business community.

The UAE daily, Al Ittihad, wrote that “King Mohammed VI leads in a way that commands respect and admiration”

This visit is the third in the region after Bahrain and Qatar right after the Participation of the King of Morocco in the GCC Summit.

Moroccan Sahara: UNSC extends MINURSO mandate one year, reaffirms pre-eminence of Autonomy Plan

April 30th, 2016

New York (UN) 29 April 2016

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Despite the UNSG impartiality, the UN Security Council managed to extend the mandate of the MINURSO for one year and reaffirmed the pre-eminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative in the Sahara, describing it as “serious and credible” to end the conflict of Western Sahara.

In its resolution n°2285, adopted by the majority of the council members with three abstentions and two votes against, the UNSC takes note of the proposition submitted by Morocco to the UNSG on April 11, 2007, and of the serious and credible efforts made by Morocco seeking to make headway with the process of finding a solution (to the conflict).

The UNSC insists on the importance of the commitment by the parties to continue the talks’ process under the UN aegis.

In the resolution, the UNSC calls on the parties and the neighboring states to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with each other and to strengthen their involvement to end the current deadlock and to achieve progress towards a political solution.

The UNSC recognizes that achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the member states of the Maghreb Arab Union to lead to stability and security in the Sahel region.
The Council also reiterates its request for census in the Tindouf camps (south-western Algeria).

The UNSC recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of April 14th, 2008 that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations.

The Council also calls upon the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations.

King of Morocco strenghtening ties with GCC members: Qatar

April 29th, 2016

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After his participation at the GCC Summit 2016, the King of Morocco embarks on a new phase to strengthen the ties with the GCC members on the bilateral level. therefore, his second visit takes him to Doha on April 28th after Bahrain.

A very warm and official welcome was reserved for the King of Morocco and the two heads of state met to discuss ways in which to follow up on the GCC Summit recommendations.

upon his arrival also, King Mohammed VI was warmly received by the Moroccan community residing in Doha in an expression of support to their King.

During the visit, the King of Morocco was accompanied by a large delegation of high officials and businessmen.

Interviewed on this occasion, Mr Mohamed Saleh Mossafer, professor of political science at the University of Qatar said that the royal speech in Riyadh is considered a roadmap for Morocco-GCC relations.

In the researcher’s own words, “We expect achievements in the wake of this historic speech that addressed several current issues and outlined a future action plan for relations between the GCC and the Kingdom of Morocco,” adding that the King also traced the contours of the future of these relations and operational approaches of cooperation between Morocco and the Gulf countries both facing the dangers of international terrorism and ‘extremism.

Professor Mossafer highlighted strengths Morocco has on military, security and scientific fields desperately needed by “the countries of the region” hoping that this will be the focus of cooperation between the two countries

Regarding this visit also, the researcher talked of the importance of the timing to further strenghten cooperation between Rabat and Doha. He also highlighted the efforts of the Emir of Qatar and his brother King Mohammed VI to promote cooperative relations in the Arab and Islamic world and the enhancement of the human element.

Mr. Mossafer concluded by noting the importance for the countries of the region to include Morocco in order to contribute to the development in these countries, noting that the region is currently home to foreign workers of more than 17 million.

King Mohammed VI Arrives in Manama, Bahrain

April 25th, 2016

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Manama 25 April 2016

King Mohammed VI arrived this Monday afternoon to the kingdom of Bahrain on an official visit. Upon arrival at the Bahrain International Airport, King Mohammed VI was welcomed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa before heading to the “Sakhir” Palace in the southern governorate of Bahrain where talks took place between the two heads of States and where an official welcome was reserved to the Moroccan King and his delegation.

After the talks, the two sovereigns chaired the signing ceremony of three bilateral cooperation agreements:

- The first agreement is a protocol amending the agreement of non-double taxation and the fight against tax evasion (income tax), signed on April 7, 2000.

- The second agreement is an implementation program of the cooperation agreement in the field of Endowments and Islamic Affairs 2016-2017-2018.

- The third agreement is a cooperation protocol between the Higher Institute of the Judiciary of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

On this occasion, all major avenues of the Bahraini capital and the southern province were decorated with Moroccan and Bahraini flags and the portraits of King Mohammed VI and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, a sign of the fraternal relations between the two brotherly kingdoms.

Morocco-Gulf Countries Summit: opportunity for consultation and coordination to face challenges and threats in the Arab region

April 23rd, 2016

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Riyadh 21/04/2016

According to the official Moroccan press agency MAP, the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries reaffirmed their position towards the Moroccan Sahara issue making it their own.

In the joint final statement of the Morocco-GCC Summit, GCC countries

★ affirmed their position that the Sahara is Moroccan and that they fully support Morocco autonomy plan as the basis for any solution to this fabricated regional dispute.

★ expressed their rejection of any form to harm the higher interests of Morocco

★ expressed their commitment to the collective defense of the security and the stability of their countries, and respect for all countries’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests.

★ expressed their rejection of any attempt to undermine countries’ security and stability, and the dissemination of separatism aimed at redrawing the map of any nation or splitting them, which threatens regional and international security and peace.

The summit emphasized that the Kingdom of Morocco and the GCC countries constitute a strategic unified bloc and that what affects the security of any affects the security of all.

Concerning the serious developments and security threats in the Arab world, exacerbated by the lack of a solution to the Middle-East conflict and resolution of crises affecting Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, the Summit emphasizes the importance of joint efforts to face these challenges with firmness and responsibility.

Reiterating their rejection of extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, GCC leaders and King Mohammed VI pointed out that this dangerous scourge should not be associated with a civilization or a religion. Morocco and GCC countries called on all to confront all attempts to spread sectarianism and divide that fuel discord, with the intention to intervene in the internal affairs of States.

They also encouraged regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and annihilate its causes.

Kings and Princes’ GCC leaders and King Mohammed VI reaffirmed their faith in the common destiny and goals and their attachment to the values of active solidarity and sincere fraternity which date back centuries.

The Morocco-Gulf Countries Summit was an opportunity for consultation and coordination of positions to face the challenges and threats in the Arab region and to exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest.

GCC leaders expressed their satisfaction with the continuous progress in the joint action for this strategic partnership on the basis of action plans with the objective to:

- strengthen the human development process,
- facilitate trade and promote investment.

They also stressed the need to give a boost to this partnership by developing its institutional aspect and the urgent need to continue consultation and coordination to strengthen the foundations of the existing partnership to meet the aspirations of their peoples and to serve the interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and achieve global peace and security.

The Summit was also an opportunity to examine possibilities to establish a more comprehensive cooperation between the GCC, the Kingdom of Morocco and sub-Saharan countries especially for promoting security and stability.

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Morocco-GCC Summit: a win win for all

April 21st, 2016

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1. On the Political level:

• The Morocco-GCC partnership is based on mutual respect and respects the specificities of the sovereignty of each State. It will create an influential bloc capable of defending common interests and just causes of the Arab-Muslim world.

• This partnership will develop approaches and initiatives that will advance a relevant and efficient ways to defend just causes of all countries involved either individually or collectively.

• The Kingdom of Morocco is considered a real asset for the whole region, which, through mutual support of its partners in the Golf, find its position strengthened and consolidated even for the its territorial integrity.

2. On the Economical level:

• Moroccan economy, be it public or private sector, is a real asset for the economies of the GCC countries and therefore this partnership will further strengthen trade and attract even more investments form the Gulf.

3. On the diplomatic front:

• This partnership is part of a Morocco’s diplomatic vision: from being a leader in strengthening South-South cooperation, to being part of the Arab and Moslem world to a successful diversification of partners outside the circle of traditional allies.

• The willingness of the Gulf countries to strengthen partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco confirms the fact that Morocco is a reliable ally and a model that combines openness and modernity on the one hand and authentic values ​​on the other.

• This partnership will also allow Morocco to strengthen its role on the geostrategic platform: Euro-Mediterranean, West Asia, Africa … ..

• The relations between Morocco and the Gulf countries are sustainable. This crucial renewed partnership will further institutionalize and immunize these relationships.

For full speech of the King of Morocco at the GCC please go to http://www.maroc.ma/en/royal-speeches/full-text-hm-kings-speech-morocco-gcc-summit-riyadh

King of Morocco is to take part in Morocco-GCC Summit

April 19th, 2016

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According to a press release from the Moroccan Palace, King Mohammed VI is scheduled to participate at the the Morocco-GCC Summit with will take place in Saudi Arabia on April 20.

The press release also stated that this summit which is the first of its kind will give new impetus to multidimensional strategic partnership between Morocco and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. the statement added that it will also be an opportunity for consultation and coordination of positions to meet the challenges and threats facing the Arab region as well as an opportunity to exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest in order to develop common positions.

The statement concluded that at the end of the summit, the King will be on working visits to several countries of the region.

political stability in Morocco attracts substential investments: Renault invests 900 Million Euros

April 11th, 2016

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Rabat, April 9, 2016

According to AFP, French carmaker Renault signed partnership agreements with Morocco on an investment of more than 900 million euros which in turn will generate 50,000 jobs in order to build an “ecosystem industrial ”

“This strategic project alone will provide 50,000 new jobs in Morocco and consolidate more than 10 billion dirhams of investments (about EUR 912 million)”, noted the Minister of Industry last Friday.

For the Moroccan Minister of Industry, the agreement with the French manufacturer will “definitely change the automotive sector in Morocco,” which, he said, is the first export sector of the kingdom for the past three years.

Renault’s Regional Director of Operations, Bernard Cambier. told AFP that “The agreements we signed with the Moroccan government will double the sales of Renault in Morocco with a target of two billion euros in a few years,” adding that “The ‘Made in Morocco’ branding we do (now in both Renault plants in Morocco) is high quality and the best quality of all our plants (in the World)”.

“Africa, Middle East and India” is the first Renault market outside Europe with 360,000 units and sales of the French manufacturer are increased by 16.9% in 2015, with good scores in Morocco (+ 11.5%) and Algeria (+ 8.7%), according to figures released in January.

Last year, group Losange (Renault, Dacia and Samsung Motors) posted a 3.3% increase in worldwide sales to 2.8 million units.

The Alliance Renault-Nissan, since 1999, forms the fourth largest automotive group by volume.

King Mohammed VI Chairs the Launching Ceremony of ‘Renault Ecosystem’ project

April 9th, 2016

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Rabat Morocco, April 8th 2016

King Mohammed VI chaired on Friday in the royal palace, the ceremony to launch the new project “Renault Ecosystem” by Renault group, Morocco. The objective of this project is to place the Kingdom’s car industry on the international scene.

At this ceremony, a documentary was screened to show the progress made in the national industrial sector over the past years, followed by a presentation by the minister of industry, trade, investment and digital economy in which he presented the broad lines of the “Renault Ecosystem”. This project testifies to the trust Morocco enjoys internationally thanks to its stability, attractiveness and good governance.

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The new 10 billion dirhams project consists of developing an international supply platform which will have an additional turnover of 20 billion dirhams yearly, thus increasing threefold the amount of manufactured parts purchased by Renault in Morocco and trebling the number of jobs created by Renault, generating 50,000 new permanent jobs

The presentation emphasized the positive impact of the industrial acceleration plan and the re-structuring of the industrial sector with effective and inclusive ecosystems showing Morocco’s success is due thanks to this industrial strategy to integrate, in a record time, the in-group of 31 countries producing and exporting engines.

Renault Chairman for Africa-Middle East-India Region Bernard Cambier said that, through the “Renault Ecosystem” project, the French group intends to boost its industrial and commercial presence in the Kingdom underlining the King’s leadership in promoting education and training especially in the automobile sector via the creation, for example, of institutes for training on automobile-related jobs.

Renault Chairman for Africa-Middle East-India Region Bernard Cambier added that “These assets place Morocco among countries that made progress in the field of industrial manufacturing quality. The quality of “Made in Morocco” products is recognized by Renaut group. One of the challenges facing the ecosystem is to continue progress in this area and ensure excellence,” Renaut Chairman also said that Prospects of development are very important to all actors of Renault ecosystem as they rely on the Moroccan market’s dynamism and the growth of exports, in addition to the development of the Iberian base.

King Mohammed also chaired the signing ceremony of three agreements related to the new project:

1- The first agreement is a framework-agreement on the setting up of the Renault ecosystem.

2- The second agreement, related to the industrial real estate

3- The third agreement is related to the training of executives and vocational training in the automobile sector.

Secret links between the Algerian army and Al Qaeda In the Islamic Maghreb AQIM

March 25th, 2016

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TV channel Medil examined this March 24th the terrorist attack that took place in 2013 at Ain Amenas in Algeria. This program entitled “60 minutes to understand” unveiled the secret links between the Algerian army and Al Qaeda In the Islamic Magreb AQIM.

According to this investigation, the Algerian National People’s Army was involved in the murder of foreign hostages at the site of Ain Amenas gas complex in Algeria executed by terrorist elements belonging to AQIM. Included in this investigation was the dissemination of the content of telephone calls that took place between terrorist elements responsible for the taking of hostages and their leaders, confirming the coordination of the Algerian army elements with Mukhtar Belrnoukhtar in this terrorist attack.

According to Wikileaks, exchange of emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff reveal that Algerian officials encouraged jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar to attack Moroccan interests in the Sahara.

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12095

These exchange of “confidential” email, dating back to January 17, 2013, was sent by Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton to inform her about the “latest French Intelligence Reports on Algerian Hostage Crisis.”

a link to the program in French:

http://www.medi1tv.com/fr/algérie-aqmi-des-liaisons-dangereuses-60-pour-comprendre-emission-38457-140

Wikileaks reveals a secret deal between the Algerian Government and Jihadists to attack Morocco’s interests

March 21st, 2016

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According to Wikileaks, exchange of emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff reveal that Algerian officials encouraged jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar to attack Moroccan interests in the Sahara.

According to Wikileaks, the “confidential” email, dating back to January 17, 2013, was sent by Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton to inform her about the “latest French Intelligence Reports on Algerian Hostage Crisis.”

The email reveals that the government of Bouteflika secretly plotted with the Algerian jihadist after the kidnapping of the Algerian consul in Mali in April 2012 “to concentrate his operations in Mali, and occasionally, with the encouragement of the Algerian DGSE, attack Moroccan interests in Western Sahara.”

The document also states that the objective of the terrorist group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is to “destabilize the governments of Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, and Algeria.”

The same source added that the terrorists behind the In Amenas hostage-taking aimed also “to attack the existing facilities in western Algeria and had to conduct a similar operation in the Sahara.

view full email here: https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12095

Reverent Jesse Jackson: ” Morocco is a stable country and an example in development”

March 21st, 2016

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Reverent Jesse Jackson attended Crans Montana in Dakhla, Morocco, said that “Thanks to the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Morocco has demonstrated stability, growth and inclusion in a region shaken by the Arab Spring,”

He added that “It’s always good to come to Morocco, one of the great crossroads of the world. This country is both African, Arab and European,”.

Referring to his participation in the Forum, Reverend Jackson assured that “there is a common cause that attracts people to meet in Morocco. ” adding that “Africa is going to have a new brand, not just that of crises and war, but also of the fastest growing continent in the world,”.

While expressing his wish that the Sahara issue be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, Reverent Jackson said that “Dakhla is a flower that blooms in the desert,” saying “I hope that the conflict can be resolved not through violence but through diplomacy. This crisis must be resolved and it can be,” concluding that “I hope what the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon said during his recent visit to the Tindouf camps was a mistake. We need the United Nations to be a force for reconciliation, not a party to any conflict”.

Crans Montana Forum: Opening in Dakhla of the first eco-friendly golf of Morocco

March 21st, 2016

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Dakhla, March 20, 2016

The first eco-friendly Golf Morocco, over 34 hectares and part of an eco-village project of a total area of ​​53 hectares, was inaugurated Saturday in Dakhla during Crans Montana Forum.

The Golf was inaugurated by the Wali of the region Oued Ed-Dahab Dakhla governor of the province of Oued Ed-Dahab, Lamine Benomar, during a ceremony attended by chairmen of councils in the region and some participants at Crans Montana Forum.

Overlooking Oued Ed-Dahab, the Dakhla Golf “Rio de ORO / Oued Ed-Dahab,” which takes its name from the famous lagoon, is the first golf course 100 percent environmentally friendly.

Between sea and desert, this nine-hole Golf has natural sand and greens of a special turf drought resistant.

Crans Montana Forum success in Dakhla confirms the commitment of Morocco to Africa

March 20th, 2016

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Dakhla, March 19, 2016

“The 27th session of Crans Montana Forum which was held from 17 to 22 March in Dakhla is an achievement which confirms, once again, Morocco’s commitment to Africa and the development of the continent”, said the former Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman, adding that “I have no doubt. The idea of ​​holding this forum in Dakhla, under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI, is of great relevance to Africa”.

“In addition to its commitment to Africa”, noted HE Roman, “Morocco has largely achieved its goal in maintaining its social balance required, to open up to modernity and improve the economic and social situation of its citizens,” ” ensuring that the Moroccan model is exemplary”.

Mr. Roman also highlighted Morocco’s role internationally, adding that the Kingdom is an active participant “in everything that happens in the world, including the challenges of globalization and the fight against climate change”.

In an interview, Ms. Ntombenhle Perpetua Msiza, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) also said that “For a long time there was a lot of participation and exchanges between Morocco and Europe. It is very interesting to see Morocco play a more vital role in Africa,” adding that “much remains to be done” in Africa and it is time that funds from emerging African countries can be routed to other African countries to contribute to their development.

Ms. Msiza has also expressed the wish to see her country and Morocco, “the two great powers of Africa “engage in joint efforts of South-South cooperation for the development of continent.

Crans Montana Forum also gathered experts from various African countries to discuss the relationship between new information technologies and education as a key to the future.

A panel under the theme “Education and information and communications technology, challenges, perspectives and innovation” was particularly marked by the participation of the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Rachid Belmokhtar, and Aicha Bah Diablo, Chair of TrustAfrica, an organization that seeks to strengthen African initiatives to address the most complex challenges the continent faces.

This meeting was focused on the use of information technology mainly in the field of education, as well as the cooperative approach, the public / private partnership and the problem of rural electrification.

The discussions also focused on the Moroccan experience that is “rich” in the field of information technology as well as the progress that Morocco has made in the field of electrification.

This meeting was also the occasion to present the new approach of the Moroccan educational system and the efforts of the Kingdom in the development of education for entrepreneurship, finance, and especially professional training.

Several topics were on the agenda of this panel, including “Digital in the education service”, “educational and public-private partnerships”, “Energy and extension of network coverage in rural areas”, ” innovations and massive open online course “and” Pooling financial resources and potential for development. ”

In addition to experts in IT, Crans Montana Forum also gathered Religious leaders to address the importance of education to environmental protection

A panel of religious leaders and scholars from several countries focused on interactivity between religious and educational institutions for the protection of the environment.

They focussed on the importance of information, communication and education to environmental protection.

In an interview, the Founder and director of the Islamic Foundation for ecology and environmental sciences in Birmingham (Great Britain), Fazlun Khalid said that The issue of environmental protection concerns everyone who seeks to promote the principles of good citizenship and responsibility for implementing effective programs in this matter, explaining that “We are all concerned by the respect and protection of the environment. We are part of this planet and we are connected to this nature. Our obligation is to preserve and enhance it,” .

In the same context, Swami Agnivesh, former Indian Minister of Education and activist of human rights, stressed that “materialistic model” prevalent in the development of public policies affect the environment and sustainability.
A comprehensive and broader view is necessary and urgent to guide our mission to protect the environment”, emphasizing the “sanctity of natural resources”.

The Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, emphasized, in this same context, the “devastating effect” of the exhaustion of natural resources especially in the most vulnerable communities, assuring that ” Men must do everything to preserve the environment. ”

Mr. Mubaje, who presented the experience of his country, said the scriptures give special importance to the protection of nature, calling on governments to implement effective strategies in this area.

For his part, Eric Geoffroy, professor and researcher at the University of Strasbourg, emphasized the strong link between spirituality and ecology, calling for a humanism based on responsibility, not domination.

In addition to the Panel on religion and ecology, a follow-up meeting of the 2nd Morocco US Pacific Forum was an outstanding panel.

The meeting with the Ministers of Pacific island states focused on the prospects for partnership between Morocco and these countries, particularly in the areas of education, health, agriculture, environment and tourism.

The Moroccan Minister said that “The values ​​that unite Morocco and these countries are stronger than the geographical distance that separates them, stressing that this meeting served to reiterate the commitment of both parties to move forward in building a common future by giving a new impetus to their relations.

The high attendance of delegations of these countries in Morocco reflects their interest in participating in the COP22, to be held next November in Marrakech.

The debates of this follow-up meeting focused on the COP22, the role of the international community in protecting the island states of the Pacific and the promotion of sustainable development, South-South cooperation and strengthening economic and political cooperation between Morocco and the Pacific region.

In an interview, MEP Gilles Pargneaux, Chairman of the friendship group EU-Morocco said that ‘Dakhla is the symbol of great challenges of the Mediterranean and Africa: regional security, development of renewable energies and regional cooperation between the Maghreb countries and the electrification of Africa,’

Mr. Pargneaux called for further deepening ‘the partnership relationship with Morocco and not making remarks abusive, dismissing all diplomatic efforts for peace in the Maghreb, as it is ventured by UN SG Ban Ki-Moon recently’

The MEP, who attended the forum, noted that by 2050, 2 billion people will inhabit the African continent, adding that ‘the migration challenges, energy and security requires a solid Europe-Africa relationship.”

He added that ‘Morocco is obviously a hub in renewable energy and is an example to many countries in Africa” adding that “The thermo-solar plant Noor Ouarzazate is the ambassador of the Moroccan forward thinking”.

Mr. Pargneaux also added that Morocco is also a ‘hub for stability because security issues play a significant part in the Sahel-Saharan region,” concluding that “Morocco is a hub for peace because of its tolerant and reformist Islam that many defend today and we have to defend this balance of power with the the most extremist movements”.

Crans Montana Forum, held under the theme “Africa and South-South cooperation: better governance for sustainable economic and social”, brought together more than thousands of participants, including 850 foreign dignitaries from 131 countries and 27 regional and international organizations.

Dakhla’s Crans Montana Forum 2016 Kicks Off

March 18th, 2016

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Dakhla, March 18. 2016

Crans Montana Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation kicked off this Friday in the southern city of Dakhla. The opening ceremony was marked by the message sent by King Mohammed VI to participants.

The event brought together more than a thousand participants from 131 countries and representatives of 27 regional and international organizations including heads of States and governments, ministers, Members of Parliaments and businesses from all over the world, mostly from Africa, the Arab world, central Asia and South America.

In a message sent to participants which was read out on Friday by chairman of the Council of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Ynja Khattat, the Sovereign recalled that at the previous forum’s meeting, he shared his ambition for a new development model crafted for this region “which is so dear to me.”

Following is the full Text of the King’s Message to Participants in this great Forum:

“Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon The Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me, once again, to send a message to the participants in the annual session of the Crans Montana Forum, which has been convened for the second time in a row in Dakhla, in the Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab region, which is so dear to me. This year’s session, which is devoted to improving governance for the achievement of sustainable development, provides an opportunity to resume the very useful and worthwhile discussion started here last year. I look forward to seeing this debate further expanded through consultation, exchange of views and a pooling of expertise and goodwill.

The presence of more than 500 foreign dignitaries here in Dakhla, including many government officials from more than one hundred countries and representatives of international organizations, reflects a unanimous commitment to this event and to its overarching theme for the benefit of Africa. Thanks to your joint efforts, this important international event helps remind the world that there will be no future without a cohesive, solidarity-based Africa standing tall and proud. Ladies and Gentlemen, For decades, our Continent suffered tremendously in a world divided by colonization. It reeled under the effects of ideological conflicts which were not of its making.

Today, it is high time Africa regained its rights vis-a-vis both history and geography: a rich history of African peoples united by centuries of exchanges and diverse ties, and geographical facts which show just how important it is to have integrated, complementary sub-regional groupings. Africa owes it to itself to become a key partner in international cooperation mechanisms, and not just a mere object of this cooperation or a prize others vie for. Africa should no longer be perceived as a vulnerable continent, but rather as a driver of progress. South-South cooperation is not an empty slogan, nor is it an appendix of development policies one that is restricted to mere technical assistance.

South-South cooperation is the result of a homogeneous strategic vision designed to promote the development of states and meet the needs of African populations. It revolves around the potential, skills and expertise of each one of the stakeholders concerned. For this reason, Morocco has made South-South cooperation one of the pillars of its foreign policy as well as a determinant of its international action. It therefore seeks – on its own as well as jointly with partners and sister nations – to implement concrete programs in targeted areas to achieve measurable outcomes in terms of growth and the well-being of the populations of the countries of the South in the economic, social, cultural, environmental and religious domains.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your decision to meet, once again, in the city of Dakhla has more than just a symbolic meaning. It bears witness to the fact that fresh momentum has been given to the vision we have of the Moroccan Sahara as a place conducive to interaction as well as a platform for time-honored human and commercial relations and for the exchange of knowledge between the South and the North. At your previous meeting, I was keen to share with you my ambition to see a new development model crafted for this region which is so dear to me. It is the result of a promising strategy through which we seek to bring our three southern provinces to a level of development that will enable them to fully play their role as an African economic hub and as a bridge between Europe, the Arab Maghreb the Sahel region.

Today, development plans are a tangible reality. During recent visits to the Sahara region, I launched a number of large-scale development projects, honoring my commitment to the citizens of our southern provinces. We are about to create competitive economic hubs to stimulate growth, provide jobs, enhance cultural expression, uphold human rights and protect the environment. These hubs are expected to support productive sectors, such as agriculture, sea fishing and ecotourism, while also enhancing land, air and sea transport networks between the southern provinces and the Kingdom’s other regions on the one hand, and between the region and other African countries on the other. Special attention has also been paid to the social side through, for example, the implementation of a number of projects to improve the quality of education as well as health and socio-economic services.

I wanted these structural projects to coincide with the implementation of advanced regionalization, following the recent regional elections, the establishment of bodies that were elected directly by the citizens and the provision of important constitutional and legal powers as well as financial and human resources. Ladies and Gentlemen, The world in general – and especially our regions – is facing unprecedented environmental challenges. These are not just climate challenges, they also – and more importantly – involve development challenges. Africa should have a say in this global debate. It should neither keep quiet nor allow itself to be dictated to, let alone be forced to choose between development and the preservation of the environment. It is this vision that Morocco has chosen to champion as it prepares to host the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakech next November.

I hope that this global conference will celebrate South-South cooperation for the preservation of the environment. I also hope it will put Africa and all developing countries at the heart of the international agenda. Our overall objective is to make sure that the voice of a united, strong and determined Africa is heard and that it is heeded. I believe it is up to the international community to devise development patterns that ensure the well-being of people, while meeting the requirements of sustainability. We must all act along these lines and listen to the creative segments in our societies, namely our youth, for they are the ones who are innovating and who are shaping tomorrow’s world. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is the responsibility of States to champion forward-looking plans and to strive to implement them through determined action and structural projects. However ambitious public policies may be, they will remain fragile if they are not fully embraced by the citizens and our civil societies. This is the very essence of sustainable development.

To be robust and sustainable, development must be driven by a vision shared by all stakeholders in society, and each one should decide how he or she is going to embody that vision. That is why civil society organizations, women, young people, entrepreneurs and other social groups are important and should be involved in debates and in consultation mechanisms. I know this firmly held belief is shared by the organizers of this meeting, and it is gratifying to note that several platforms will be at the disposal of those segments of society during the coming days. I should like, in this regard, to pay tribute to Mr. Jean-Paul Carteron, President of the Crans Montana Forum, for his commitment to creating platforms throughout the world – and particularly in Africa – for discussion, debate and mutual enrichment. I also wish to commend ISESCO and its Director-General, His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Ben Othman Altwajiri, for their continued support for an event that reflects the values and beliefs championed by this prestigious Organization. Thank you.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

King Mohammed VI Inaugurates in Moscow an Exhibition entitled “Morocco-Russia: A Shared ancient history”

March 16th, 2016

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Moscow: 16 March 2016

King Mohammed VI inaugurated, Wednesday at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the exhibition “Morocco-Russia: a shared ancient history”.

This exhibition, organized by Morocco’s National Foundation of Museums on the occasion of the King’s official visit to Russia, showcases the long and rich history of the kingdom of Morocco.

The exhibition features bronze objects from ancient Roman sites in Morocco as well as Roman sculptures will run until April 16th. The Pushkin Museum receives 5.000 visitors everyday.

Russia congratulates Morocco for Socio-Economic Projects Launched in Moroccan Sahara

March 15th, 2016

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Moscow, March 15, 2016

The Russian Federation “takes note” of the socio-economic projects launched by Morocco in the southern provinces the develop of the region and improve the living conditions of its population.

On the occasion of the official visit of King Mohammed VI to Russia, a “Declaration on deep strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Morocco”, issued Tuesday in Moscow stated that “The Russian Federation takes note of the socio-economic projects launched to develop the territory and improve the living conditions of the people living there”.

Concerning the Sahara issue, “the Russian Federation takes due account of the position of the Kingdom of Morocco for the settlement of this problem”.

A Russian-Moroccan Economic Council

March 15th, 2016

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The creation on Monday of a new economic council with the aim of promoting relations between Morocco and Russia will give a new impetus to the economic partnership between the two countries.

The creation of this council was announced on the occasion of a meeting held in Moscow on the sidelines of the official visit of King Mohammed VI to Russia, will enable private operators in the two countries develop their relations.

Speaking on this occasion, chairwoman of CGEM Miriem Bensaleh-Cheqroun said that the creation of this economic council aims at strengthening the strategic partnership between Morocco and Russia, noting that the Kingdom offers several opportunities to Russian investors, especially in industry, renewable energy, agriculture, fishing and tourism.

The chairman of the Russian-Moroccan Business Council Yuri Sharov said that this meeting will boost economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that the new economic council will promote economic relations and increase the volume of investments between the two countries.

The meeting was also marked by the signing of four partnership agreements between economic operators from both countries, covering the areas of industry, energy, pharmaceutical and food industries.

National Interest Highlights Geostrategic Importance of the King’s visit to Russia

March 15th, 2016

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According to The National Interest Magazine, The official visit that king Mohammed VI is paying to Russia will have geo-strategic impact, especially on efforts aimed at maintaining peace and supporting democratic institutions.

There is also a strong possibility that the imminent encounter between Putin and the King of Morocco could prove beneficial to American and international security interests, the US paper noted, adding that Moscow and Rabat established political arrangements at the United Nations that reduced the intensity of ideological contest between East and West in North Africa.

There are three areas in particular in which Russia and Morocco could potentially develop joint projects the value of which goes beyond the bilateral relationship, the magazine added.

The first concerns the future of Libya, now a civil war torn failed state with an ISIS enclave within rowboat range of southern Europe, the US paper pointed out, adding that Morocco, which hosted several rounds of UN-brokered peace talks among Libya’s warring factions last year, is invested in the country’s future, and a credible broker of international assistance for its rehabilitation.

The second area of potential cooperation concerns the international threat of Islamist radicalism, the magazine pointed out, adding that King Mohammed VI has crafted training programs for foreign imams seeking to counter extremist teachings themselves.

The paper concluded that Morocco can encourage Russia to play a greater role in the economic development of North Africa, as “opportunities to help build up the Moroccan south as an international gateway to the continent are only the beginning.”

King Mohammed VI and Vladimir Putin met to reinforce and bilateral relations

March 15th, 2016

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Moscow, March 15, 2016

King Mohammed VI and Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired on Tuesday in the Kremlin, the signing ceremony of several bilateral cooperation agreements in various fields.

- The first agreement covers extradition between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Russian Federation,
- the second is an agreement on air services,
- The third agreement is a cooperation agreement in the fields of environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources, while the fourth agreement covers cooperation in sea fisheries.
- The fifth is an agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, while the sixth agreement covers the mutual protection of classified information in the military and military-technical fields.
- The seventh one is a declaration on the fight against international terrorism.

As part of the official visit paid by HM King Mohammed VI to Russia, the two countries signed these agreements:

- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the energy field.

- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of geological research and exploration of the subsoil.

- A memorandum of understanding between Morocco’s National Health Security Office of Foodstuffs (ONSSA) and Russia’s Federal Agency for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance.

- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of veterinary supervision.

- A joint action program for 2016-2018 in the field of tourism.

- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Morocco’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and Russia’s Central Religious Organization (Shura Council of Russian Muftis).

- A framework partnership agreement between the National Foundation of Museums and Moscow Kremlin’s Museums.

- A framework agreement on cooperation between the National Foundation of Museums (Morocco) and the Hermitage Museum (Russian Federation).

- A protocol for exchanging information on the movement of goods and vehicles between Morocco and the Russian Federation.

The signing ceremony was attended by members of the Russian government and the official delegation accompanying the King of Morocco.

A popular march in Morocco to denounce the remarks made by the United Nations Secretary General during his recent visit to Algeria.

March 13th, 2016

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More than three million Moroccans took part, this March 13, in the Capital Rabat, in one of the unprecedented rallies. This popular march was initiated by political parties, civil society, trade unions in order to denounce the remarks made by the United Nations Secretary General during his recent visit to Algeria.

From across the Kingdom, masses of demonstrators took part in a civic and patriotic rally, they formed a human tide that invaded the city center of the capital Rabat. Part of Bab Chellah, this gigantic march paced for hours on a sunny Sunday. The demonstrators, men and women, young and old, protested against the biased statements of Secretary-General of the United Nations over the Moroccan Sahara.

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In an unprecedented outburst of patriotism reminiscent of the Green March, millions of Moroccans came in groups, whole families or individuals, by train, car or bus, overwhelmingly responded to this call to reaffirm, in person, the national consensus on the territorial integrity of their country. Singing the national anthem, featuring portraits of King Mohammed VI, or banners and placards, these millions of protesters reiterated the national consensus that unifies all Moroccans around the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

” Our Sahara, Our King”,
” Long live the King ”,
” Ban Ki-moon is a danger “,
” The Sahara is Moroccan and will remain Moroccan ”
” Ban Ki-moon threatens the UN process ”
” Ban Ki-moon has violated the UN Charter,”
” All united in solidarity for our Sahara”,
” no to biased mediation”,
” international law is not for sale ”

These were slogans shouted by protesters, many of whom were draped in the national colors to show their support and express their attachement to the unity of their country, holding banners and placards to express their anger against the UN SG’s lack of neutrality. This rally was unprecedented both in terms of the number of protesters or in their diversity and origin. Men, women and children walking together in a spontaneous outburst of patriotism. Entire families also traveled from remote areas for this patriotic rally. Moved by the magnitude of this patriotic march, a protester said: “I’m ready to walk to the city of Lagouira if necessary “to defend the Moroccan Sahara and territorial integrity of Morocco. “I am proud and very happy to have been able to answer the call of the nation by taking part in this gigantic march” said this housewife, who did not hesitate to involve her children adding that this will instill in them the values ​​of patriotism and love of their nation.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco is invited to visit Russia on March 13

March 11th, 2016

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According to a press release from the Moroccan Royal Cabinet, the King of Morocco is scheduled to pay an official visit to Moscow at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin..

This important official visit will start this Sunday March 13th. According to the same press release, the purpose of this visit is to strengthen economic and political ties between the two countries and sign cooperation agreements on many fields.

The King will also meet with important personalities during this official visit, concluded the Press release.

to be continued….

Morocco Suspends Contact with European Institutions except for one

February 25th, 2016

European Union and Morocco alliance and friendship

During a press briefing following a cabinet meeting, Moroccan Government Spokesman and Minister of Communication said that Morocco’s government decided to suspend contact with European institutions, except for exchanges on the appeal related to the EU-Morocco agricultural agreement.

The Moroccan government refuses the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) ruling on the EU-Morocco agriculture agreement.

”The government denounces the political character of this decision, its unfounded arguments, its skewed logic and conclusions that are contrary to international law and UN Security Council’s resolutions”,’ the minister said.

for the record, last December, ECJ’s Eighth Chamber made a ruling against an enhancement of the agricultural agreement signed in 2012 between Morocco and the European Union.

The King of Morocco in Paris to enquire about measures taken to improve consular services

February 24th, 2016

SM le Roi visite le consulat général du Maroc à Orly

King Mohammed VI visited Morocco’s Consulate General in Orly in Paris to see for himself the efforts deployed by consular services of the Kingdom following his directives set out in his Throne speech of last year.

Upon his arrival, the King was welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Minister in charge of Moroccans residing Abroad, Morocco’s Ambassador to France and the kingdom’s Consul General in Orly, Ms Malika Alaoui.

The aim of the visit is to enquire about the measures taken to improve consular services.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation thanked the King on behalf of the Moroccan community living abroad and the consular staff, for the interest that His Majesty grants to improve the quality of services offered to Moroccans abroad and the working conditions of the staff.

The Minister highlighted the ongoing action plan by his Department. These actions include the improvement of the speed of management of information, the simplification and modernization of consular services, cultural and social actions and upgrading human resources.

The King visited the different services of the Consulate before holding a meeting with representatives of the Moroccan community in Orly who expressed their gratitude to the King and emphasize their unalterable attachment to the Kingdom and renewed their expression of loyalty to their country of origin led by His Majesty.

West Africa: a hub for Latin American Cocaine traffickers targeting Europe

February 20th, 2016

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AFP reported from the Capital of Mauritania that a security official told AFP that the Mauritanian authorities seized, during the weekend, a large quantity of drugs, ncluding two tons of cocaine, hidden in small bags in a tourist camp “.

” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the camp where the seizure was made Saturday is located “” at the edge of the Atlantic, 200km northwest of Nouakchott “” where the drug was to be transported by sea, “” probably to Europe “”.

The suspects were of various nationalities, including Mauritanians, Algerians, Malians, Senegalese and Sahrawis from the polisario”, the source also added that “4×4 vehicles were used by captured traffickers “” during this operation.

For the past ten years, West Africa has become a hub for Latin American cocaine traffickers targeting Europe. traffickers take advantage of the poverty and weakness of the states in the region. The drugs arrive by boat in the Gulf of Guinea or by air in Mauritania and Mali before reaching the shores of the Mediterranean through the Sahel, according to experts.

Morocco and France building a mutual future based on a mutual past

February 19th, 2016

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According to a Statement from the Royal Palace, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, who is visiting France, met with President François Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

This visit once again demonstrates the excellent bilateral relations between France and the Kingdom of Morocco and aims at strengthening their strategic importance within a multidimensional partnership.

The President of the Republic thanked His Majesty for his personal commitment to the success of the COP21. For a united and strong action on climate, the two leaders gave their instructions to set up a joint road map in order to strengthen coordination for the ratification by all member states of the Paris agreement and ensure the success of the COP.22 to be held in Marrakech from 7 to 18 November 2016.

In addition, the two heads of states discussed regional issues, particularly the Libyan issue, which poses great challenges to security in the Maghreb and Western Mediterranean.

The French president praised the role of Morocco in the process initiated under the aegis of the United Nations leading to the Skhirat Agreement for the formation of a government of national unity. Also, The two leaders called on the Libyan House of Representatives to give confidence to the new government to address the many challenges facing Libya and the broader region.

The two leaders welcomed the good progress of projects undertaken in particular in economic and cultural matters. They also welcomed the close cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime and discussed new cooperation, especially in the field of security, de-radicalization, culture and triangular cooperation in Africa.

Then the Moroccan King and the President of the Republic visited the Institute of the Arab World, where they were presented with the draft of the future Moroccan Cultural Centre in Paris.
 
This cultural center will showcase Moroccan culture in its diversity. it will also participate in the promotion of the heritage and traditions of the Kingdom, as it will help to make known in France contemporary Moroccan art scene in a spirit of partnership with the Moroccan and French cultural institutions.

Morocco’s cultural center in Paris will also help strengthen ties between the Moroccan community living in France and its native country.

The King and the President of the Republic Chaired at the institute, the signing of an agreement to organize, in October, an exhibition on Morocco, on the occasion of the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Independence.
 
This event will be an opportunity to illustrate the uniqueness of the relationship between France and Morocco, which were forged throughout a rich shared history.

King Mohammed VI then visited the exhibition dedicated to the “legend of Osiris” which exhibits over 250 unpublished works and objects of world heritage which were buried in the waters since antiquity but also forty works from museums in Cairo and Alexandria. Concluded the Communique from the royal Palace.

France and Morocco: strong relations based on common interests

February 16th, 2016

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According to a press release from the Royal Palace, King Mohammed VI will travel to France on a working visit where He will hold talks with French President Francois Hollande in the Elysee Palace.

The King will also visit the Arab World Institute, where the Moroccan Cultural Center will be built soon in Paris.

The release also revealed that during his stay in France, the King will also visit a consulate of the Kingdom in order to enquire about the implementation of the Royal instructions to improve consular services for Moroccans living abroad.

The press release concluded that this visit reflects the excellent bilateral relations, based on sustainable partnership and common will to build strong and multidimensional relations between the two countries. It is also part of the permanent high-level contacts and regular exchanges of visits between the two heads of State.

A commitment to a successful COP22, King of Morocco appoints steering committee

February 12th, 2016

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As an avid defender of the environment, King Mohammed VI blessed the appointment of the COP22 steering committee.

According to a statement from the Moroccan Ministry for foreign Affairs and Cooperation, issued on February 11, 2016, King Mohammed VI appointed Foreign Minister as the chair of the COP22 Steering Committee in addition to 11 members who will be in charge of the preparation and organization of the 22nd United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP22), scheduled on November 7-18 in Marrakech.

These appointments were followed by the creation of an inter-ministerial committee to accompany the organization of this important international and challenging event.

This committee is composed of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Interior, Agriculture and Fisheries, Industry, Commerce, Investment and Digital Economy, Energy, Mining, Water and Environment, and Economy and Finance.

The statement added that in reaffirm the different commitments of the Kingdom regarding the protection of the environment, development of renewable energies and the fight against climate change, and the defense of the interests of developing countries, especially African and small island Statesn King Mohammed VI called on the government, State, non-State, public and private stakeholders to guarantee the success of this landmark event to combat climate change.

The statement concluded that the King also called on all involved with this important event to coordinate different actions with the French presidency of the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in conformity with the “Tangier Call”.

King Mohammed VI inaugurates more projects in the south

February 10th, 2016

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The King of Morocco who is continuting his week long visit to the Southern Provinces of the country is speeding up the process of developing the region through projects of infrastructure and sustainability.

After the modern fish market in Dakhal, the King Inaugurated also a large-scale sanitation and drinking water projects for a budget of 495 million dirhams.

These crucial projects will consolidate the new development model of the southern provinces to accompany the demographic and urban development of the city.

These projects also aim at
1- providing sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by urbanization.
2- enhance the tourist attractiveness of the city,
3- preserve the ecosystems and promote the socio-economic development of the region.
4-strengthen the drinking water supply of the city of Dakhla,

These projects will Benefit more than 106,000 inhabitants.

From Dakhla to Oued Ed-dahab

King Mohammed VI inaugurated in the El Argoub municipality (southern province of Oued Ed-dahab), the “Azura Aquaculture” farm.

This aquaculture project requires an overall budget of 81 million dirhams and is part of the national Halieutis strategy and aims at upgrading the different stages of the value chain of the fisheries sector and improving its competitiveness and performance.

This project will contribute to:
1- improving the sustainability of resources,
2- promoting farming,
3- processing and marketing of nearly 970 tons of oysters, clams and abalone, and
4- decreasing animal health risks related to the import of these species.

This regional aquaculture development plan provides for the establishment of 878 production units over three identified geographical areas, namely the Bay of Dakhla (520 units), the Bay of Cintra (243) and the area between these two bays (115) and is expected to generate some 3,350 direct jobs.
These various aquaculture projects are expected to generate 115,000 direct jobs.

King of Morocco launching projects in the Southern Provinces: Regionalization at its best

February 9th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI is visiting the Southern Provinces of the country and launching development porjects to make of the region a model for regionalization.

After Laayoune, the King went to Dakhla and Chaired a Ceremony to Launch Development Programs of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, Guelmim-Oued Noun Regions
Dakhla (South) –

These two development projects represent part of the implementation of the new development model in the southern provinces, which was launched on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March to promote the integration of these provinces in the kingdom, and reinforce the position of the Sahara as an economic hub and a bridge between Morocco and its African depth.

This new development model revolves around four pillars:

1- creating a new development and employment momentum based on competitive regional poles,
2- achieving comprehensive development and promoting the cultural dimension,
3- promoting responsible governance, and
4- guaranteeing sustainable development and reinforcing the national and international connectivity of the southern provinces.

The 77-billion-dirham development model puts the citizen at the top of its priorities and is based on contract agreements between the State and the regions, which will determine the obligations of each side.

Then King Mohammed VI chaired the signing ceremony of the two program contracts (2016-2021) between the State and the regions of Dhaka-Oued Ed-dahab and Guelmim-Oued Noun.

Then the King Inaugurated a new fish market in Dakhla to make it a development pole.

The 26-million-dirham market, part of the implementation of the national Halieutis strategy which provides for organizing the traditional and coastal fishing industry in Morocco, is in line with the development momentum in the southern city of Dakhla.

This new marketing infrastructure aims to improve the quality, fluidity and transparency of business transactions and develop fishing related activities in the region.

This project also provides for developing the national consumption of fish products by allowing citizens to make better use of the country’s maritime resources in the best conditions in terms of price, quality, availability and safety.

Built in accordance with the international standards of the highest quality, this new facility is equipped with technologies that guarantee the computerization of the whole sales process. This computerization maximizes the speed and transparency of the transactions and guarantees the strict monitoring of the traceability of products.

From the fish market to the imauguration of Oued Massa Seawater Desalination Vessel in Dakhla

Newly acquired by the Royal Navy from the Dutch shipyard “DAMEN SCHELDE NAVAL SHIPBUILDING”, this vessel will produce drinking water for the benefit of areas facing water shortage and lack port infrastructure.

The acquisition of this vessel was decided by the King, Supreme Commander and Chief of General Staff of the FAR, as a result of the floods that ravaged the southern provinces of the Kingdom in 2014.

With a production capacity of 1,500 m3 per day, the new vessel will supply drinking water to 75,000 people at a rate of 20 liters per day per capita.

King Mohammed VI launches crucial projects in the southern provinces of the country

February 8th, 2016

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King Mohammed VI launched the construction works of the Foum Bl Oued-Laayoune Technopol, a knowledge and innovation city for the development of the southern provinces.

This project supports the integrated industrial complex of fertilizer production in Phosboucraa and aims at supporting the economic development of the southern region. It will also promote sustainable and integrated development of this region through the encouragement of investment and private initiative, the strengthening of youth skills, protecting and valorizing local heritage.

Located 18 km from Laayoune, the Foum El Oued-Laayoune Technopolis will include an educational and research related to the environment, the economic and the cultural development of the region. It will create nearly 1.8 million working days during its construction stage and will create 1,200 permanent jobs by 2022.

In its first phase and a budget of 655 million dirhams, the technopol will include Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Laayoune, a high school and an industrial center.

King Mohammed VI is leading a green revolution in his country

February 5th, 2016

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Morocco has lately been talked about as a leading country in renewable energy thanks to the clear vision of the king.

On Thursday, King Mohammed VI Chaired in the Southern province of Ouarzazate, the launch of the construction of the second and third plant of this project (Noor II and Noor III).

Ouarzazate Solar Power Station (OSPS), also referred to as Noor 1 CSP, is a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant located in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town, in Ghessat rural area. The plant is the first phase of the Noor Solar Project.

While Noor I is planned to produce 125 to 160 megawatt peak (MWp) and covers an area of 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres), Noor II will be built on an area of 680 ha. It is a 200 MW power plant with thermo-solar cylindrical parabolic troughs and 7 hours of energy storage capability. Noor III will employ central tower technology with salt receivers and 7 to 8 hours of energy storage capability and will require a budget of 645 million euros.

These three projects will make Noor Ouarzazate the largest multi-technology solar production site in the world with a capacity of 580 MW and a total investment of over 24 billion dirhams.

According to the Oxford Business Group, Noor’s solar project leads Morocco’s clean power drive and that the southern Moroccan city of Ouarzazate will soon be home to Africa’s largest solar plant and the world’s biggest concentrating solar power (CSP) facility, with 6bn worth of solar projects currently in the works, OBG added, noting that the 500-MW Ouarzazate Solar Complex (OSC) which will occupy an area roughly the size of the capital Rabat will harness solar power using CSP technology.

The turnkey project’s first installation will be the 160-MW Noor I plant, with the Noor II and III facilities set to come on-line by 2018 or 2019.

The report notes that Morocco aims to exploit its 3000 annual hours of sunlight for domestic electricity production, with a view to eventually exporting power across the Mediterranean.

CEO of NRJ International and president of the Moroccan Association of Solar and Wind Industry told OBG that “The solar cluster was created in order to bring public and private actors together, creating an environment for collaborative projects that boost the development of local renewable energy industries,”.

the reported added that renewable energy projects like the OSC aim to reduce Morocco’s heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels, with 96% of the kingdom’s energy sourced from abroad at a cost of more than ê8bn per year.

In September 2015, the government amended the country’s renewable energy law from 2010, raising the renewable energy target from 15% to 42% by 2020.

The Oxfort business group concluded that “Additional solar projects are also expected to raise the renewable target further to 52% by 2030, during the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in late November,”

Inter-Libyan political agreement signed in Morocco

December 17th, 2015

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Skhirat, Morocco.

Morocco hosted several UN-sponsored rounds of talks on the Libyan crisis under the aegis of the UN support mission in Libya. Finally, this Thursday December 17th, the Libyan rival parties signed the “Libyan political agreement”, to bring the country out of the crisis that broke out three years ago.

This Libyan political agreement was finally possible because, parallel to the diplomatic efforts, the Moroccan intelligence services played a major role in getting all Libyan factions to reconcile and work together in order to face the dangers from terrorism of the Islamic State who is taking advantage of the vacuum situation in the country.

The agreement was signed by representatives of all parties taking part in the inter-Libyan dialogue, mainly the Tobrouk agreement, the National General Congress -called the Tripoli parliament- as well as other personalities and representatives of the civil society.

The Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Garcia Margallo, said, in a statement to the press, that this political agreement is the first step toward conflict settlement, explaining that it provides for the creation of a national union government, the recognition of a single parliament and the establishment of a state council.

He also noted that the next step will be a UN Security Council’s resolution recognizing and supporting the government as the only representative of the Libyans, pointing out that his country’s delegate to the Security Council is working on a resolution project.

The Libyan government will finally be able to focus its efforts on controlling the territory, fighting terrorism and illegal emigration and reviving the economy of the war-torn country, added the Spanish Foreign Minister stressing that oil production in Libya has dropped to unprecedented levels.

He also said that “the Libyan conflict strongly affects Spain and its economic interests” and has also entailed collateral damages in countries of the region and caused tensions in Europe.

In 2014, over 177,000 migrants from various countries seized the political vacuum in Libyan to move to Europe, and in 2015, the figure has so far reached 140,000.

Spanish authorities and the international community are aware of the seriousness of the situation and the risk that the Islamic State organization represents for Europe, said Margallo, insisting that the international community is “determined to settle the problem of this terrorist group in Libya before it is too late”.

Moroccan authorities were surprised and irked by the European Court decision

December 12th, 2015

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Morocco, which has taken note of the judgment of the European Union on the appeal against the agricultural agreement between Morocco and the European Union, expressed his astonishment at this decision and expects the EU to take appropriate steps to find a solution to this procedure.

    In a statement by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and cooperation, ’The Kingdom of Morocco has taken note of the judgment of the EU Court regarding the appeal against the agreement between Morocco and the European Union concerning reciprocal liberalization measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural and fishery products, adopted in March 8th 2012″. The Statement added that although this decision concerns only the European Council, which in no way puts in question the agricultural agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union, the Kingdom expressed surprise for the decision concerning a protocol that complies with international law.

    The Statement indicated also that “The Kingdom of Morocco expects the European Union to take appropriate internal measures to find a definitive solution to this procedure” and that “Morocco will follow the course of a judicial system and will, where appropriate, take the necessary steps”, adding that “We remain confident in the strength of legal agreements with the European Union and in the ability of the competent bodies of the European Council to uphold the rules of law on any all political consideration”. Concluding that Morocco reiterates its willingness to honor its commitments vis-à-vis the EU in mutual trust as well as in the framework of international legality”.

King Mohammed VI in UAE

December 4th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI sent a message of congratulations to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the occasion of his country’s National Day.

The King reiterates in his message his firm commitment to continue to endeavor with HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to consolidate these outstanding bonds, broaden their areas and reach the level of exemplary partnership to serve the common interests of the two people and deepen solidarity and complementarity between the Arab countries.

The King of Morocco in UAE

The King started Wednesday this week a friendship and working visit to the United Arab Emirates on the occasion of the Moroccan cultural week organized in the UAE.

The King’s participation in this ceremony reinforces the strong friendly relations and mutual esteem that bind the two countries, and the distinguished ties of cooperation and solidarity between the two brotherly peoples.

The King of Morocco and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated ‘Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’ hospital.

Morocco-UAE: firm will to build strategic alliance model in the Arab world

Driven by a strong political will, rich history and shared visions, the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates are resolutely moving forward to build a strategic alliance between two brotherly countries which are convinced of the need for efficient bilateral cooperation.

Convinced that joining efforts is a must to achieve the longed development at all levels, the two Arab countries have been endeavoring to set forth a perfect high-level coordination in the political, economic and security fields.

Exchange of high level visits between the two countries illustrate the excellence of bilateral relations, particularly the official working visits made by HM King Mohammed VI in this Arab Gulf country. Last March’s official visit to Morocco of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, is another illustration of the strength of bilateral relations.

These visits confirm, if need be, the quality and the excellent relations linking Rabat and Abu Dhabi at all levels, and the will and determination that drive the brotherly countries to give a strong impetus to their coordination in various areas of cooperation, with the aim of raising the level of their traditional alliance whose foundations were laid by the late King Hassan II and the late Sheikh Zayed Ben Soltane Al Nahyan.

Alongside the political, diplomatic and cultural bilateral partnerships that continue to thrive through relationships of mutual esteem and fraternity existing between the two brotherly peoples and the two leaders HM King Mohammed VI and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, economic partnership is, in turn, being buoyed by the increase in the volume of UAE investments in the Kingdom.

Observers agree that the Moroccan-Emirati partnership now reached its peak, as evidenced by the 21 bilateral cooperation agreements sealed during the latest visit to Morocco of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, along with the promotion of economic and financial cooperation between the two countries.

This cooperation resulted in the signing in 2013 of a memorandum of understanding between the Kingdom and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, under which Morocco was awarded a USD 1.25 billion, to fund a series of development projects.

Recent years have seen a significant influx of Emirati investments in Morocco, operated by major institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Moroccan-Emirati Development Corporation, the company Taqa and Al Maabar International Investments, among others.

It must be noted the trust of UAE investors in the Moroccan market was strengthened recently through the outstanding efforts made by the Kingdom to attract large firms and investment companies from Gulf countries in vital economic sectors such as renewable energy, tourism, industry, real estate and infrastructure projects.

In addition, one of the pillars of effective cooperation between the two countries, is the decision of the Kingdom of supporting actively the United Arab Emirates in their fight against terrorism. This qualitative support confirms the determination and willingness of both countries to confront firmly terrorism through a participatory approach based on coordination, exchange of information and expertise to guarantee the safety and stability which form the basis of continuous and comprehensive development.

King of Morocco participating at the Paris climate summit

December 1st, 2015

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King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is taking part at the Paris Climate Summit as Morocco will host next year’s conference in Marrakesh, COP22. Due to a severe cold, the King will not be able to speak so his brother is addressing the conference in his place.

King of Morocco says in the speech read by his brother that “The African continent deserves special attention. Africa is the continent of the future and where the planet’s future will be decided.”
adding that ” promoting the transfer of technology and raising funds, particularly for the benefit of developing countries, is fundamental. Above all, let us guard against compelling these countries to choose between economic development and the protection of the environment. and called on the world to”Be careful, we must guard against making these countries choose between development and the protection of the environment.”

The speech went on “to mention the strategy the Kingdom of Morocco has been implementing for more than half a century”:

“Let us begin with water, the source of life and a crucial, daily concern for Moroccans. What would have become of Morocco in this respect, had it not been for the dam-building policy, which is a ground-breaking, far-sighted policy initiated in the early 1960s”

“Recognizing the importance of this key accomplishment for Morocco’s future, I have sought to reinforce it, and as a result Morocco now has 140 large dams, nearly a third of which have been built during the last 15 years”.

“Thanks to this policy, Morocco is dealing successfully with the effects of drought whereas, in some developed countries, a mere delay in seasonal rainfall gives rise to a warning that an exceptional, severe drought is feared”.

“The Kingdom’s committed action in this respect is also illustrated by the development of watersheds which make it possible to channel water without destroying or disrupting ecosystems. Morocco has also developed a responsible fisheries policy, which it defended – albeit with some difficulty – when negotiating with its partners, to protect its fish stocks”.

Part of the speech also was about “The Environment Charter, the Green Morocco Plan, the Green Investment Plan, the ban on GMOs and the new law on plastic waste clearly reflect our commitment and our consistent action”. adding that “Morocco’s ambitious, substantial “Intended, Nationally Determined Contribution” under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change confirms the Kingdom’s avant-garde approach”. “Building on this irreversible commitment, Morocco is bidding to host the COP 22 in Marrakech in 2016″.

The speech concluded with “I would like to conclude by wishing this Conference every success. I also want to thank President Francois Hollande and France for the commitment and dedication they have shown to make the COP 21 a successful meeting that makes history and fosters hope. Maintaining this conference and ensuring its success is the most eloquent tribute we can pay to the French people, who have recently been affected by despicable terrorist attacks. This is the best response to obscurantism and to the enemies of humanity”.

King of Morocco meets with French President after the Paris attack: fighting terrorism together

November 21st, 2015

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Paris:
 
This Friday, King Mohammed VI was received, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, by French President Francois Hollande.

In a statement by the Royal Cabinet, the two heads of State voiced the shared determination of both countries to fight terrorism and radicalization together and endeavor to settle regional and international crises. The President of the French Republic expressed his gratitude to King Mohammed VI for the efficient assistance provided by Morocco following last Friday’s attack.
 
On this occasion, the two Heads of State reaffirmed their full mobilization for the preservation of the planet and the success of COP-21 in Paris and COP-22 in Morocco in 2016.
 
Finally, the French President and the King hailed the vitality of the French-Moroccan partnership to address common challenges.

The King of Morocco offers condolences to French President and Prime Minister following terrorist attacks in Paris

November 15th, 2015

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Nov 14, 2015

King Mohammed VI sent a message of condolences to French President François Hollande and another message to Prime Minister Manuel Valls following Friday’s terrorist attacks in several parts of Paris. In his message, the King expressed his deepest feelings of sadness over the horrific terrorist attacks that left 130 dead and over 300 wounded. “I offer my most saddened condolences to you, to the innocent victims’ families and to the entire French people as well as my sincere wishes of a prompt recovery to the wounded”. The message went on “I would like to condemn in the strongest terms, on behalf of the Moroccan people and in my own name, these evil terrorist acts and express our full solidarity and support in this ordeal”

And to the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the King concluded his message with “I am convinced that the French security forces will be able to triumph over the perpetuators of these criminal acts and that thanks to the French people mobilization and determination to defend their values, your country will face this terrible experience”.

Laayoune: King Mohammed VI chairs the launching ceremony of a new development model in the region

November 9th, 2015

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Laayoune, November 7, 2015

King Mohammed VI, accompanied by HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, chaired, on Saturday in Laayoune, the launching ceremony of the new development model in the region. It is an integrated development vision based on an objective analysis of the situation in these provinces. This is truly a real breakthrough in terms of management and governance.

The launching of this model coincides with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Green March. The objective is to help lay the ground for an integrated policy to promot the Sahara as an economic hub and a link between Morocco and the African continent.

After the ceremonials, the ministers of interior and economy gave a presentation outlining the new development model for this region which puts the citizen at the center of its priorities and is based on the principles of participation, inclusion, responsible governance and sustainability.

This new model will contribute to the establishment of a new development dynamic promoting the creation of jobs, encouraging private initiative and putting the region at the service of citizens. This model seeks to create centers of competitiveness and relies on economic development, social promotion, good governance, sustainability and reinforcement of connectivity.

Economically, it provides for the restructuring of the phosphate sector through the project “Phosboucraa for industrial development”, the promotion of the agricultural and fisheries sector and the development of environment-friendly tourism.

Socially, the new development model for the region lays down provisions for building Laayoune University Hospital Center and a town with high-tech industrial facilities in Foum El Oued, and promoting the Hassani culture to make it a lever for local development.

As for “sustainability and connectivity”, the new model focuses on three main goals namely the protection of water and fisheries resources, the development of renewable energy, the preservation of diversity and natural systems, and the reinforcement of the southern provinces’ connection with the Kingdom’s provinces and prefectures as well as with the rest of the world.

The Managing Director of the Office Sherifian of Phosphate underlined that the Office intends, as part of the new development model to construct a new industrial complex for fertilizer production and build a town with high-tech industrial facilities in Foum El Oued which will host the Mohammed VI multidisciplinary university of Laayoune, a high school of excellence and a capacity-building center. 

Speaking on this occasion, chairwoman of employers’ association CGEM Miriem Bensaleh-Cheqroun said that CGEM will back up the implementation of the new development model through the mobilization of investments and job creation in these provinces. Worth 5.4 bln MAD, the CGEM initiative provides for carrying out 59 projects in the different sectors (energy, real estate, trade, services, transportation, education, health) which will generate 10,300 jobs on completion.

On Infrastructure, Minister Rebbah presented the redevelopment project of the National road n1 between Tiznit and Dakhla (8.5 bln MAD). This project will benefit the populations in the regions of Souss-Massa, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab and will be carried out within six years (1,055 km).

On Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch said that two structuring projects will be implemented, as part of the new model, and will give new momentum to agricultural economy in the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra. The two projects concern the agricultural upgrading of 1,000 hectares in Boujdour (465 mln MAD) and the development of the solidarity-based agriculture program in the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra (1.1 bln MAD).

On Health, minister El Ouardi noted that the university hospital center (CHU) which will be built in Laayoune (1.2 bln MAD) will offer 3rd generation services. With a capacity of 500 beds, the reference hospital center will include poles of excellence in the various specialties (mother-child, oncology, psychiatry..)
 
The King then chaired the signing ceremony of five agreements on the implementation of the new development model for the region. Nearly 4,000 people attended this ceremony, including the head of government, the speakers of the two houses of parliament, the King’s advisors, government members, elected members, dignitaries and chiefs of tribes.

The five agreements inked are as follows:

The first agreement, on State’s financial commitment for the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region;
The second agreement, on State’s financial commitment for the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region;
The third agreement, on State’s financial commitment for the Guelmim-Oued Noun region;
The forth agreement, related to the program-contract with the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region;
The fifth agreement is related to the project of Agadir-Laayoune motorway and the broadening of the Laayoune-Dakhla section on national road n1.

Laayoune Western Sahara, Morocco: Sahrawis calling for the end of MINURSO mandate

November 9th, 2015

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Laayoune, Nov 08, 2015

Elected-members, notables, dignitaries and civil society actors in Western Sahara organized a sit-in in front of the MINURSO office in Laayoune to reaffirm their attachment to the Moroccan proposal of autonomy under Morocco’s sovereignty, a proposal that has international support.

 At this sit in, Demonstrators were waving the Moroccan flag and pictures of King Mohammed VI while lauding the content of the King’s speech delivered to the Nation the previous day on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the peaceful Green March.



They also called on the international community to lift the blockade imposed on their family members still in captivity in the camps of Tindouf on the Algerian territory, and to put an end to their sufferings.

 In this context, the President of Laayoune municipal council Moulay Hamdi Ould Errachid told the press that this sit-in is a strong message to the international community to reaffirm the Moroccan identity of the Sahara and to the attachment to the autonomy initiative as a unique solution to the Western Sahara fabricated dispute.


The King: Morocco to Face up to All Attempts to Challenge Legal Status of Moroccan Sahara

November 8th, 2015

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Laayoune (southern Morocco), Nov. 6, 2015

On an address to the Nation on the occasion of the peaceful Green March to regain its southern provinces from Spain, King Mohammed VI stressed that Morocco will face up to all attempts seeking to cast doubts on the legal status of the Moroccan Sahara or question the country’s right to exercise its powers and prerogatives fully on its land, in the southern provinces, just as it does in the northern part of the country. “Morocco rejects any foolish, adventurous course of action that could have serious consequences, as well as any useless, unworkable proposal whose only aim is to undermine the positive momentum created by the

The King also warned that the Kingdom will also confront hostile campaigns against Moroccan products, “building on the same spirit of sacrifice and commitment demonstrated in the political and security sectors to defend its unity and immutable values”.

“As for those who want to boycott our products, in blatant violation of international law, let them do so. However, they will have to assume the responsibilities for their decisions”, the King warned that Morocco has the right to invite its partners – states as well as global companies – to benefit from the investment opportunities to be created in the region, thanks to the large-scale projects that will be launched. “Just as we make no distinction between the northern and the southern parts of Morocco, we see no difference between tomatoes from Agadir and those from Dakhla, sardines from Larache and those from Boujdour, phosphates from Khouribga and those from Boucraa – even though the latter represent less than 2% of our national reserves, as confirmed by universally recognized data”, the King said, promising to “face up to all attempts that seek to cast doubts on the legal status of the Moroccan Sahara or question Morocco’s right to exercise its powers and prerogatives fully on its land, in the southern provinces, just as it does in the northern part of the country”.

For King Mohammed VI, “all efforts must be stepped up while vigilance and full mobilization shall never waver to make our just cause better known, to shine a spotlight on the progress our country is making and to confront our enemies’ schemes”.

On the Autonomy Initiative for the Southern Provinces judged both serious and credible by the international community, the King stressed that this Initiative is “the most Morocco can offer”. Mohammed VI pointed out that its implementation will hinge on achieving a final political settlement within the framework of the United Nations Organization. “Those who are waiting for any other concession on Morocco’s part are deceiving themselves. Indeed, Morocco has given all there was to give. It has given of its sons’ blood to defend the Sahara”, the King said denouncing the position of some international and non-governmental organizations that “have no right to meddle in our affairs” and “do not know Morocco’s history and seek to come up with scenarios which are hatched in air-conditioned offices, are far removed from reality and are presented as proposals for the settlement of the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara”.

The Monarch, who recalled that the Sahara question is not the first issue Morocco has faced in its history, noted that whenever it faces a difficult situation, Morocco invariably comes out strong and united, with its head held high. “This is because Moroccans deeply believe in their common destiny, defend their immutable values and territorial integrity and are fully committed to the close bond and cohesion between the throne and the people”, the Sovereign said, stressing the need to promote development in our southern provinces, to safeguard the dignity of the sons and daughters of those provinces and to defend the country’s territorial integrity, in keeping with the same spirit of commitment and sacrifice which characterized the Green March.

“This would be the best token of loyalty to the architect of the Green March, my revered father His Late Majesty King Hassan II – may he rest in peace – and to the memory of the nation’s glorious martyrs”, concluded the King.

Madrid pays tribute to the Spanish victims of the terrorist attacks committed by the Polisario

November 8th, 2015

Spain admits Polisario committed acts of terrorism

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Madrid, November 6, 2015

The Spanish Interior Ministry organized, Friday, in Gran Canaria, a ceremony in honor of the Spanish victims of the terrorist attacks by the Polisario in the 1970s and 1980s.

During this ceremony, Spanish decorations of different categories were given to 49 victims of terrorism, committed by the polisario, and their relatives, in the presence of the delegate of the central government in the Canary Islands, Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

The Spanish fishing vessels Cruz del Mar and Mencey of Abona were the targets of attacks by polisario militias during the 70s and 80s causing the death of several Canarian fishermen in an area between the Sahara and the Canary Islands.

Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Hernandez stressed that the Spanish State will never forget those who have been affected by terrorism, a phenomenon which is a blow to society and democracy, and claims innocent victims. Quoted by the Spanish media, Ms Hernandez noted that the initiative to pay tribute to these victims, which included entrepreneurs, workers and members of the armed forces, is the way to preserve their memory and their dignity.

For his part, the President of the Canarian Association of Victims of Terrorism, Lucia Jiménez, recalled that “the Polisario Front has committed terrorist acts, during the 70′s and 80′, including assassinations, kidnappings and explosions which have resulted in the death of loved ones, including our parents and our brothers. Today is a historic day for hundreds of victims and their families who have suffered 40 years of neglect and ostracism”.

The Polisario is a separatist movement created, hosted and financed by Algeria since 1975.

3rd India-Africa forum summit 2015: Morocco top African investor in West Africa, the second biggest in the Continent


October 29th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI underlined in a speech delivered at the 3rd India-Africa forum summit in New Delhi that Morocco has become the top African investor in West Africa and the second biggest in the continent, stressing the fact that South-South cooperation is now a “pressing need”.


 The King of Morocco noted in his speech that both on the bilateral level and in the framework of triangular cooperation, Morocco is keen to carry out tangible projects in productive areas which boost development, create jobs and have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens, adding that the summit is “an opportunity for us to assess South-South cooperation, which is the cornerstone of the African-Indian partnership”, stressing that it should serve “as a platform to lay the foundations for an efficient, solidarity-based, multidimensional South-South cooperation model, through which we can make optimal use of the resources and potential available in our countries”.


 The King called on the participating countries “to turn the page on the legacy of the past and seek to serve our countries’ strategic interests”, insisting that South-South cooperation “is neither a mere slogan nor a political luxury”.


 “This is a pressing need”, said the King, “the scale of the challenges faced.”


 , Concluding that “Indeed, we cannot rely on conventional patterns of cooperation that today no longer help us respond to the growing needs of our peoples”.

For full text of the speech: http://allafrica.com/stories/201510290925.html

Morocco: a gateway to Africa for India

October 26th, 2015

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The African continent has become in recent years a new area of ​​competition between a number of major world powers, the United States and China as well as France and Britain which are linked by historical ties with the countries of the continent.

India constitutes one of the largest emerging countries and, in turn, aspires to establish a foothold in the continent which has become, in recent years, a promising space for investment, business and consumer market for goods and products. For this reason, India seems to be in need of a trusted and credible ally, such as Morocco, given its privileged geographical location and its closeness with a large number of countries in the African continent, including in particular the French speaking African countries, making it the gate for major Indian companies wishing to explore the continent.

For India which is the third largest economy in the Asian continent, Morocco is an attractive platform for investment, economic and security cooperation, and a credible partner to facilitate its competition with china and the US in Africa’s markets. Moroccan presence in Africa is powered by the success of a dynamic political, economic, social and religious reforms undertaken by King Mohammed VI in the field of human rights, in which the Kingdom has been engaged, making it a role model and a key actor within the Black Continent.

Under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Morocco was able to accumulate significant experience in West Africa on the economic, social and religious cooperation. Morocco’s success was gained through multiple initiatives and strong belief in the need to engage in the African continent with a promising future and to promote south south cooperation.

This success was due to multiple visits by King Mohammed VI to the countries in the region and the heavy presence of Moroccan public and private companies in many African countries, highlighting clearly the strategic position of Morocco in Africa and the vision of the Moroccan King.

Morocco plays an important and growing role in the support and assistance of a number of brotherly and friendly countries in the south of the Sahara and the Sahel, in the context of a royal keenness to achieve ways for development and stability in those countries. King Mohammed VI has multiplied his visits to the continent with the objective to focus on intensifying business relations with African countries for the transfer of competencies, experience and knowledge, and projects aimed at improving governance, development of infrastructure and the development of economic models for sustainability in Africa.

Indian Newspapers highlighted the success of the Moroccan economic model as a clear-sighted vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

India hosts biggest Africa summit

October 26th, 2015

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The Third Summit of the India-Africa Forum 2015 opened this Monday October 26th in New Delhi with the participation of 54 African countries, including Morocco.

The summit, which opened its work with a closed meeting at the expert level, will be an opportunity for participating countries to define a strategic framework for cooperation taking into account the changes and current political, economic, environmental, technological and security challenges. This high-level meeting, which runs until 29 under the theme “Partners in Progress: Toward a dynamic and transformative development agenda”, will be attended by a large number of heads of state and government representative representing various African countries.

King of Morocco in India

October 25th, 2015

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According to the official media outlets in India, Moroccn King Mohammed VI was the first head of state to arrive on Sunday to participate in the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit that begins on Monday October 26th.

This summit will witness a record participation of all 54 countries of the African continent, most of them represented by their heads of state or government. This is an opportunity for the King of Morocco to meet His African counterparts on a bilateral level.

This is perhaps the only time all 54 African countries are coming together for such a meeting outside the continent.

The agenda includes a meeting of senior officials on October 26, meeting of foreign ministers on October 27 and the summit on October 29. There will also be bilateral meetings, while President Pranab Mukherjee will host a grand banquet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the evening of October 29.

The summit is expected to address key challenges facing participating countries, including food, health and environment, as well as deepen cooperation on maritime security and countering terrorism.

Morocco and India enjoy secular and strategic partnership.

To be continued…

Morocco’s priorities: completing the establishment of all institutions

October 12th, 2015

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Friday October 9th was the opening of the Fall parliamentary session in Morocco. As is customary, King Mohammed VI highlighted the priorities of the Nation. He called this year’s parliamentary session extremely crucial to continue the project of development of Morocco, adding that the last election deadline is but the beginning of a long process of concretization of the programs promised by the candidates and their parties. The King also urged the candidates who lost the elections to conduct constructive criticism so that to adjust their actions and gain the trust they need to win the next elections. His Majesty congratulated all those who played a role so that the elections take place in a transparent manner adding that both national and foreign observers confirmed the transparency and the smooth running of the electoral process. The King concluded that the large turnout registered in the Southern Provinces confirms the commitment of the people of this region to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, urging the parliament to complete the establishment of all institutions.

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The Court of Appeals considers the Moroccan justice fairly reliable for the implementation of the $ 123 million judgment against DeJoria

October 6th, 2015

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United States:

New on the case of DeJoria against Maghreb Petroleum Exploration S.A.

Concerning this case, the US Court of Appeals reversed the judgement of the US state District court for the Western District of TS at its Austin Division which rejected execution of the Moroccan court that ruled against DeJoria and entered a judgement of approximately $122.9 million. The Court of Appeals ruled that Moroccan justice “reliable enough”, for that judgment to be executed in the United States.

DeJoria built his case on challenging domestic recognition of the Moroccan Judgment on the principle that the Moroccan Judicial system does not provide due process and that the Moroccan courts lacked Jurisdiction and is impartial.

The US Court of Appeals did not agree with and stated that “The Moroccan judicial system does not present an exceptional case of” grave injustice “that makes the whole system fundamentally unjust and incompatible with due process,” adding that there is no reason to reject a judgment made a the Moroccan Judiciary which took nearly six years to conclude.

For the record, the Texas justice refused -in August 2014- to enforce a judgment rendered in Morocco on December 31, 2009, condemning the famous American businessman John Paul DeJoria to pay $ 123 million to the joint venture MPE / MFM (Maghreb Petroleum Exploration (MPE) and the Mideast Fund Investment Funds Limited for Morocco) following the Talsint case (false discovery of an oil field).

The Texas court relied on section 36.005 (a) (1) of the Act on recognition of a foreign judgment in Texas, which authorizes the discharge if “the judgment was rendered under a system lacking impartial tribunals or procedures compatible with the requirements of due process of law “. As explained by the Court of Appeals, “the use of procedures compatible with the requirements of a fair trial” is the only principle to be verified. “Foreign procedures do not have to conform to traditional rigors of American due process to meet the requirements of enforceability under the law,” says the Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart.

To justify the non-recognition of the judgment made in Morocco, DeJoria argued that the Moroccan judicial system is composed of judges beholden to the king and therefore lacks independence. But the Court of Appeals determined that this argument does not hold water.

The Court of Appeals identified several reports that have actually denounced the “lack of complete independence” of the Moroccan justice vis-à-vis the government, and “submission [judges] in influence, particularly in sensitive cases “. It also recognized the demonstration of the 1,000 judges in 2012 who wanted more independence. “Although this evidence has led the district court to observe the incompatibility of the Moroccan legal system with the requirements of due process, “we conclude that it does not present the whole picture of the Moroccan justice”.

Furthermore, the Court of Appeals referred to the testimony of a lawyer who served for 35 years that Moroccan judges pass an admission test prior and specific training for two years. The Moroccan system “focuses” on the provision of “real information” to the accused during trial and takes into account the many challenges associated with the appointment of experts, and gives the accused the possibility to appeal after a first judgment.

The Court also cited the testimony of Abed Awad – Assistant Professor at the School of Law at Rutgers University (NJ) – claiming that the procedures followed in Moroccan in the commercial court are similar to those followed by US courts. It also noted that DeJoria law firm did indeed describe the Moroccan judicial system as “adhering to international standards.”

conclusion: “Based on all this, we can not accept the argument that the Moroccan judicial system lacks independence to the extent that fair trials are impossible” . According to them the case of Morocco may not be comparable to Iran or Liberia, some judgments have been rejected in the United States, because of the state of the judicial system during periods of disorder in both countries.

Fighting radicalism the Moroccan way: France trusts Morocco to train its Imams

September 21st, 2015

One of the Major points on the agenda during the visit to Morocco of France President Francois Hollande was to discuss counterterrorism and the fight against radicalism with King Mohammed VI.
As France believes that the Moroccan approach to Islam is the most efficient way to fight radicalism, a joint statement was signed between the two countries to train French imams in Morocco. Morocco is the leading country in the world to train imams from different parts of the world in order to fight radicalism. According to the Hexagon (French newspaper), the French will train their imams in Morocco in order to avoid radicalization in the mosques.

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“Le Parisien” newspaper writes that the bilateral agreement on training of French imams in the Mohammed VI Institute aims at contributing to the emergence of true Islam in France and prevent prayer from falling into the hands of radical preachers.

In an article titled “Hollande wants imams trained in Morocco and France,” the newspaper explains that through this agreement, signed by French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius and Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq, Morocco undertakes to form fifty French imams annually.

Quoted by the daily, the president of the Union of Mosques of France (UMF) Mohamed Moussaoui, shows that the education provided at the Mohammed VI Institute is that of an Islam of openness and tolerance. “In a country which is home to between 2 and 5 million French Muslim, the religious guidance is a major challenge. Every day there is a critical shortage” recognizes Mohamed Moussaoui, who estimates at least 200 well formed imams are needed.

The newspaper notes also that Morocco trains many imams from Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Tunisia at the Institute Mohammed VI and that the training promotes “an Islam with the right balance” that conforms to “values of openness and tolerance”….

More on Morocco-France-Visit : an official luncheon for the French President guest of the Kingdom of Morocco

September 21st, 2015

September 20th, as accustomed in any Official visits, King Mohammed VI offered a reception in honor of French President Francois Hollande and his delegation at the Royal Palace. Among the guests was the Royal family as well as 
members of the Moroccan government, counselors of the King, Parliamentarians as well as businessmen from both countries, figures from the sphere of culture and art, and representatives of the French community living in Morocco and of the Moroccan community living in France.

‘Tangiers’ Call for solidarity-based and strong action in favor of climate’


September 21st, 2015

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As the French President continues his official and working visit to Morocco to further promote the already excellent relations between the two countries, top of their agenda included counterterrorism, fighting against radicalism and climate change. 

On Climate change and the leading role that Morocco is taking for sustainability and a green economy, the two Heads of State launched, on Sunday, at the urban commune of Gueznaya, the building works of the Institute of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Training Jobs (IFMEREE).


 The projects is worth 95 million dirhams, this pilot project will help support the national energy strategy launched in 2009 and which aims through the development of solar and wind energy projects, to bring the share of renewable energy in the production of electricity to 42% by 2020, curb greenhouse gas emissions and slash the consumption of conventional energy sources.




The institute is part of a partnership agreement signed on May 31, 2011, to set up and manage three institutes of renewable energy and energy efficiency training jobs in Oujda, Tangiers and Ouarzazate.




These institutes are meant to train operators, technicians and executives on jobs related to renewable energy and energy efficiency, mainly the maintenance and exploitation of wind farms, the installation and maintenance of solar, thermal and photovoltaic equipment, the maintenance and exploitation of thermodynamic solar electricity, and the use of biogas fields. 


They are also aimed at providing continuous training for employees of renewable energy and energy efficiency enterprises.




Constructed over 19,735 square meters, the future IFMEREE of Tangiers will be carried out by the ministry of national education and vocational training within 18 months and will ensure training notably on the maintenance and exploitation of wind farms, the installation and maintenance of solar equipment, the exploitation of biogas fields, and energy efficiency (transportation, industry..).




The IFMEREE network is the fruit of a partnership between all sectors of energy and education and the EU, the French Development Agency and the Deutsche Gersellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).




The Tangiers’ Call, which follows the Manila Call (the Philippines) and the Fort-de-France Call, rings the alarm bell concerning the urgency to take a solidarity-based and strong action in favor of climate and the need to act quickly, soundly and collectively to fight climate change.


Morocco and France, which will assume the presidency of the upcoming COP21 and COP22, call for seizing the occasion of the Paris and Marrakech conferences to speed up the transition towards a green global economy, reconciling legitimate aspirations for development with the pressing need for resources’ sustainability and the reduction of environmental risks.




The Tangiers’ Call recalls that Morocco and France are committed to sparing no effort to work for the adoption, during the Paris conference, of a legally-binding universal, global, sustainable, and balanced agreement, based on the UN framework agreement on climate change and allowing to curb global warming under 2 degree Celsius and achieve a carbon-free economy.


It also underlines that the Marrakech conference will be a crucial phase in this regard, adding that this long-term effort depends on the fact that all countries will declare their national contributions before the Paris conference, in addition to the elaboration of national carbon-free development and adaptation plans on the long term.




Morocco and France call on developed countries to state the financial support which they have already provided and intend to give in the coming years to reach the goal of mobilizing 100 billion dollars yearly

France well aware of Morocco’s exception in South-Mediterranean region

September 21st, 2015

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France is well aware of Morocco’s exception in the entire south-Mediterranean region and that Morocco is the warrant of stability in the Sahel-Sahara region and that it is a loyal and irreplaceable ally in the fight against terrorism, said General director of the Paris-based geopolitical studies observatory, Charles Saint-Prot.

The observer told Magreb Arab Press that the working and friendship visit of French President François Hollande to Morocco at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, is part of the particular relations binding the two countries and the exceptional partnership based on shared viewpoints on major issues.

“In addition, French authorities appreciate Morocco’s role in promoting moderate Islam, fighting radicalization and combatting extremism and intolerance”, adding that France also supports Morocco’s policy in Africa, which is a factor of regional stability and security.

For the French expert, the meeting between the King and the French President will contribute to move forward a much-needed bilateral cooperation in this time of crisis.

Charles Saint-prost also considered that the visit will help give a new impetus to economic ties that are all the more important as Morocco is becoming an emerging country and prepare for the French presidency of the UN conference on climatic change (COP 21) and the Moroccan presidency of COP 22.

French President in Morocco to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

September 20th, 2015

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French President Francois Hollande arrived this Saturday to Morocco for a two-day official visit leading a large delegation.

President Hollande arrived in Tangier, the north African country’s third biggest city and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean Sea. He was greeted by King Mohammed VI and other dignitaries.

Francois Hollande has said that his tour is intended to strengthen economic ties between the two countries that already enjoy a very unique relationship. Morocco and France have always been considered strong allies. France recognizes the key strategic role that Morocco plays in the promotion of South South cooperation in an environment plagued by poverty, political instability and radicalism. Morocco has distinguished itself in the region as a strong ally on whom France can rely on in North Africa which is still suffering from the debris of the Arab Spring.

French group Alstom delivered its first TGV high-speed train to the north African country in June as part of a 400-million-euro order for 14 trains for the Tangiers-Casablanca route.

Hollande and King Mohammed VI held talks on counterterrorism and the ways to prevent radicalism through Morocco’s approach to a moderate islam and the training of Imams.

Climate change is said to be on the agenda, ahead of the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris from the end of November.

Morocco, which will host the COP22 event at the end of 2016, is the first Maghreb country to have submitted its contribution to lowering emissions, with the goal of moving to 42 per cent use of renewable energy by 2020.

More on the story of the arrest of two French Journalists for extortion and blackmail

August 30th, 2015

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French journalists Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet were indicted on charges of blackmailing Morocco by a Paris’ examining judge.

According to Dupond-Moretti, Morocco’s attorney, Eric Laurent contacted the Palace in July about the book. A first meeting took place between Eric and a Moroccan Official where he demanded money so that he does not publish a book he is co-writing with Catherine Graciet about King Mohammed VI.

The lawyer said that the Moroccan authorities filed a lawsuit in Paris and the French authorities started their investigation. later the journalists were arrested after a bugged meeting where the two journalists received 40.000 euros each. They later were released on bail after being held over this weekend, a legal source told AFP.

This incident is taking place at a time when French-Moroccan relations are warming up after 11 month freeze.

The investigation will continue….

French Journalists arrested for blackmailing the King of Morocco

August 27th, 2015

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According to AFP, two French journalists were arrested on Thursday in Paris on suspicion of trying to blackmail the king of Morocco, legal sources in both countries said.

Editions du Seuil publishing company confirmed that the two journalists who already have one title about the Moroccan leader under their belt, were working on another book slated for publication “in January/February”.

Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Moroccan government’s lawyer, told RTL radio that Laurent had contacted the royal palace in July, saying he was writing a book about the king and demanded three million euros ($3.4 mn) in hush money not to publish the book. Therefore, Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet started blackmailing the King of Morocco and many meeting took place after which the two journalists were being investigated for attempted extortion and attempted blackmail and were arrested this Thursday in Paris. (to be continued..)

Morocco celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People

August 21st, 2015

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National celebrations in Morocco are always a good opportunity for the King and the People to get together for a conversation and the celebration of the anniversary of the Revolution of the King of the People is no exception. This year’s celebration coincides with 62nd anniversary of this glorious occasion.

The King, as accustomed, made a historic speech in which he payed tribute to those who sacrificed their lives so that Morocco not only gets its independence but also make sure that the Kingdom stays safe and secure, despite outside threats.

Since the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, he has been urging all Moroccans to become involved in local and national politics through voting and choosing the right people to represent them, and since the next local elections will determine the future of the country, once again, the King insisted that Moroccans have the responsibility to research and choose the right representatives to run their affairs if they want to see their interests protected and their affairs run adequately. The king added that the ultimate goal of any government is the protection of the border of the country and the wellbeing of its people.

Another danger that the country faces is from the proliferation of radicalism and terrorism. The King insisted “that the country’s security and stability are not the exclusive responsibility of state institutions, but the duty of all citizens, in collaboration and coordination with the competent authorities”.

The King added that ” extremism can only be fought through a participatory approach, based on the promotion of the values of openness and tolerance embraced by Moroccans, and the combination of social, development, religious and educational dimensions, as well as security aspects”.

The King took this opportunity to thank the security forces for the responsible job they are doing in dealing with refugees while protecting the security and integrity of the country.

The King concluded his speech by urging Moroccans to “remain faithful to the heroes of this epic revolution”

Following is the full speech:

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Dear Citizens,

Today, with feelings of appreciation and gratitude, we are celebrating the sixty-second anniversary of the glorious Revolution of the King and the People.

This is an annual opportunity to seek guidance from the values of sacrifice and patriotism embraced by the generation that fought for the independence and freedom of the nation, particularly at this moment in time, as our country prepares to embark on a new revolution.

The implementation of the advanced regionalization plan will be the cornerstone of Morocco’s unity and territorial integrity and will help us achieve social solidarity, as well as balance and complementarity between regions.

Since every era is determined by its men and women, the coming revolution will need honest elected representatives whose main concern is to serve the nation and the citizens who voted for them.

Dear Citizens,

The coming elections, which will be held in a few days, will be crucial for the future of Morocco, given the extensive powers granted by the Constitution and the law to regional councils and local communities.

For the sake of clarity, I will explain the mission and role incumbent upon each and every institution and the impact it is set to have on the lives of citizens, who have the right to know everything about the institutions serving them, so that they may make the right decision and the right choice.

The Government is responsible, under the authority of the Head of Government, for implementing laws, developing public policies and drawing up sectoral plans.

It is also responsible for public administration and has a duty to improve administrative services and bring them closer to the citizens.

As I said in an earlier speech, the Government is not responsible for the quality of services provided by elected councils.

The Minister of Energy is not responsible for street lights, water and electricity services or sanitation. By the same token, the Minister of Interior is not responsible for garbage collection or street cleaning, nor is the Minister of Equipment and Transport in charge of local street-paving or urban transport.

Citizens have to be aware that the people in charge of these social and administrative services, which they need in their everyday life, are the people they voted for in their community or region.

Contrary to what some citizens think, Members of Parliament have nothing to do with the management of local affairs. Their duty is to propose, discuss and pass laws, monitor Government action and assess public policies.

Dear Citizens,

If many citizens take only scant interest in elections and do not participate in them, it is because some elected officials do not fulfill their duties properly; in fact, some of these officials do not even know the people who voted for them.

Just like doctors, lawyers, teachers and civil servants, elected officials must work hard on a daily basis and make extra efforts, since they are in charge of other peoples’ interests, not their own.

Some of them, however, think that their mission starts and ends with registering as candidates. Once they are elected, they disappear for years, only to show up at the following poll.

Votes should not go to those who speak more or louder than others and repeat empty slogans; nor should they go to those who hand out a few dirhams during electoral campaigns and sell false promises to the citizens.

Such acts are not only punishable by law, but they are also a blatant sign of disrespect for voters.

Citizens should vote for competent, credible candidates, who are committed to serving the public good.

I would like to say this to political parties as well as to candidates: the purpose sought from elections is not to hold senior positions, but to serve the citizens.

To citizens, I would like to say this: voting is a right and a national duty, a major responsibility that has to be shouldered. It is a tool in your hands; you either use it to change the daily management of your affairs or to maintain the status quo, good or bad.

You should know that the direct election of the president and members of your region gives you the power to decide and to choose your representatives. Make a conscientious, responsible choice, for tomorrow you will have no right to complain of mismanagement or poor services.

It is matter of deep satisfaction that the number of newly registered voters is on the rise. It includes those who abstained from participating in elections in the past because they were not satisfied with the work of elected councils.

Today, they want to use their right and fulfill their national duty, but many of them are still wondering who they should trust and vote for.

Parties and candidates therefore have to convince them, show them how serious, pertinent and realistic their programs are, share their vision and communicate with them.

In this regard, I call on civil society actors and unions to get deeply involved by urging citizens to participate in the electoral process.

In short, the citizens’ power to protect their interests, find solutions to some of their problems, hold their representatives accountable and replace them, can be summarized in one word: “vote”.

Dear Citizens,

I consider serving the citizens as the ultimate goal of all national policies; I also consider the citizens’ security and safety as a top concern.

Nowadays, the world in general, and the Maghreb and Arab regions in particular, are witnessing rapid changes caused by the rise of religious extremism and the proliferation of terrorist groups.

Because, in Morocco, we know that terrorism cannot be ascribed to a given religion or country, the Kingdom has joined the international effort to combat this global scourge.

At the national level, the Kingdom is fighting the causes that might lead to extremism and terrorism and we thank God for the security and stability our country enjoys.

However, just like any other country in the region, if not in the world, Morocco is also exposed to these threats.

Unfortunately, some countries in the region are going through difficult times, due to insecurity and the proliferation of arms and radical groups.

Accordingly, Morocco has had to take a series of preventive measures in order to protect its security and stability.

In this regard, the Kingdom has imposed entry visas on some Arab nationals, namely Syrians and Libyans.

While showing solidarity with these peoples, Morocco has regrettably been forced to take such a measure,given the circumstances.

This decision is not aimed at any party and should not be seen as an unfriendly gesture. It is a sovereign decision and as the defender of the country’s security and stability, I will not tolerate any carelessness or negligence in protecting Morocco and Moroccans.

Indeed, Morocco has been working continuously to preserve its security and fully protect its borders, especially during the past two years. This mission has been accomplished, thanks to the joint efforts of all authorities and forces concerned.

We will continue our efforts, with the utmost vigilance and determination, to prevent anyone from entering the country illegally.

In the past, a number of refugees from countries plagued by security challenges managed to enter the country.

We are sorry about the dire conditions in which some of these refugees live; in fact, some of them have to resort to begging to survive.

In this respect, I do not think I need to urge Moroccans to treat them as guests and come to their assistance.

I am sure they share their suffering and try to help them as much as they can.

In return, these refugees have to abide by Moroccan laws and respect sacred national and religious values, mainly the Sunni Maliki rite.

Any breach of Moroccan law and regulations will lead to deportation.

I am referring particularly to those who attempt to create chaos inside and outside mosques or join criminal and terrorist gangs.

Morocco will nonetheless remain a land of hospitality for its guests, without becoming a land of refuge.

What I am saying is that we have our own priorities and we need to address them.

We are striving to face our own challenges in order to ensure Moroccans enjoy a dignified life.

I take this opportunity to pay tribute to all security forces for their mobilization and vigilance in order to foil any terrorist plot aimed at upsetting the Moroccan model, which is globally recognized as unique.

I would also like to stress that the country’s security and stability are not the exclusive responsibility of state institutions, but the duty of all citizens, in collaboration and coordination with the competent authorities.

In fact, extremism can only be fought through a participatory approach, based on the promotion of the values of openness and tolerance embraced by Moroccans, and the combination of social, development, religious and educational dimensions, as well as security aspects.

Dear Citizens,

We are grateful for all the blessings the Almighty has bestowed on our country, particularly the symbiosis between the people and the throne and a genuine commitment to the nation’s unity and territorial integrity.

By ensuring the success of regionalization and preserving the security and stability of the nation, we achieve a common objective,which is to serve Moroccan citizens.

It is a historic duty that we collectively have to perform to keep the flame of the renewed Revolution of the King and the People alight and make sure Morocco continues to enjoy unity, solidarity, security and development.

This is the way to remain faithful to the heroes of this epic revolution,first and foremost my revered grandfather His Majesty King Mohammed V and my venerable father His Majesty King Hassan II – may they rest in peace -, along with all the valiant martyrs of the nation.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

16 years of progressive reforms undertaken by the King of Morocco

July 31st, 2015

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Every year, on July 30th, the People of Morocco look forward to the speech delivered by their King, Mohammed VI. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the enthronement of a King who has made it his mission to lead a positive revolution in his country, making it an economic hub and the safest country in the region.

This year’s speech was particularly important as it highlighted the King’s domestic and Foreign Policy Priorities:

On the domestic front, The King called for more efforts to bring social, economic and social equality to all citizens through the National Initiative for Human Development. The King insisted in his speech that “All that has been achieved, no matter how significant it is, remains insufficient for our country, as long as there is a category of the population still living in dire conditions and feeling marginalized… It is true that this category is getting smaller and smaller, but I want to see to it that all citizens benefit from the nation’s wealth,” adding that “Indeed, despite the development our country has achieved, it makes me sad to see hardships endured by some of our fellow citizens in remote and isolated areas, in the Atlas and Rif mountains, in the desert and dry Saharan regions, in oases and in some coastal and inland villages”. For this reason, the King urged “the Government to develop an integrated plan of action, built on partnerships between all government agencies and the institutions concerned, with a view to providing funding for the -development & infrastructure- projects and drawing up a precise timetable for their implementation” as part of an integrated project “into the new vision of the National Initiative for Human Development and appended to the forthcoming programs of the regional and local councils, which now have significant resources and extensive powers”.

Given the importance of the Moroccan community living abroad, the King urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take firm action and remedy the problematic situation Moroccans living abroad suffer from in some consulates in terms of mistreatment and lack of respect as well as slow, complicated procedures to renew and validate official documents. The King urged the Minister to dispatch the right people for the job and called on him to dismiss all those who neglect their duties and mistreat the community. The King also called for the “implementation of the constitutional provisions relating to their representation in consultative institutions and participative democracy and governance bodies.”

On Education, The King highlighted the importance of education and the urgent need for educational reforms “the future of the nation depends on the quality of education we provide for our children.” Stating that “the world recognizes Moroccan’s flair for languages,” denying that “openness to foreign languages and cultures will undermine our national identity,” and called for education reform to aim “primarily at enabling students to acquire knowledge, skills and national and foreign languages, particularly in scientific and technical curricula, in order to be active members of society.” “The future of the nation, the king added, depends on the quality of education we provide for our children.”

On Moroccan Sovereignty, territorial integrity and Morocco’s interests, King Mohammed VI reiterated his message on the last green march speech and concluded that Morocco “shall start implementing the advanced regionalization scheme as well as the development model for the Kingdom’s Southern Provinces.” adding that “Morocco will do whatever it takes to defend its best interests” and “It will never allow anyone to undermine its sovereignty, territorial integrity or social model; nor will it tolerate any attempt to harm its institutions or offend the dignity of its citizens.

Highlighting Morocco’s diplomatic agenda in Africa, East and West Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the US, King Mohammed VI reiterated his engagement with the African Continent in the form of shaping “an economic cooperation model based on shared interest and a desire to improve the quality of life of African citizens.” He similarly emphasized the need “to achieve negotiated solutions in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya with the participation of all the stakeholders concerned,” and reaffirmed his continued support for the Palestinians in their efforts to achieve their legitimate rights and set up an independent Palestinian State.” The King also lauded the exceptional partnership with France, Spain and the US as well as the desire for “deepening and enriching its relations with Russia and China.”

On extremism, The King concluded by specifically calling on all Moroccans to fight extremism and terrorism saying that “It is a national duty and a religious obligation for you to safeguard your identity and remain committed to the Sunni, Maliki rite that the Moroccan people have inherited from their forefathers. Today, in keeping with the same values, we are fighting against extremism and terrorism… Let no one from outside the country give you lessons on how to live your faith.”

King Mohammed VI continuous efforts to fight extremism not only in his country but also in the African Continent: Mohammed VI Foundation for African ulema (Moslem Scholars)

July 15th, 2015

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Casablanca, 13 Jul 2015

King Mohammed VI of Morocco who is also the highest religious authority in the country presided at the Royal Palace in Casablanca the ceremony of the announcement of the creation of the Mohammed VI Foundation for African ulema (Moslem Scholars). This body is designed to unify and coordinate the efforts of Muslim Scholars in many African countries in order to disseminate and consolidate the values of tolerant Islam at a time when politically motivated radical groups like ISIS and Boko Haram are preying on the ignorant and using religious beliefs to recruit more members to join the war to serve their political agenda.

At the ceremony, a presentation was delivered by the Royal Palace Spokesman and Historian of the Kingdom in front of the King in which he stated that Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulemas was created under the chairmanship and following the instructions of The King of Morocco who kindly appointed Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, as Deputy Chairman of this Foundation.

After this presentation, Deputy Chairman of the Foundation, Ahmed Toufiq, emphasized, in a speech, the fact that the decision to create this institution is not the result of a random idea but rather that of a lot of work backed by a rich capital accumulated by Morocco’s relations with many African countries. Mr Taoufiq added that the timing could not be better for all countries involved.

In a speech on behalf of African Ulemas, Chairman of the Fatwa Committee and the Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria, Cheikh Ibrahim Saleh Al-Hussaini, said “as we live in times of sadness and suffering because of the situation of the Ummah, as result of extremism and religious excess affecting many countries, we receive the call of HM the King, Commander of the Faithful, protector of religion and worship, may God Assist Him, a call to which we responded promptly to create this foundation”, “We all follow the achaarite doctrine, the Maliki rite and the way of Imam Al Jounaid related to behavioral practices, which is why we consider the call for the creation of this Foundation as an initiative intervening at the right time “, added Cheikh Saleh Al-Hussain, concluding that “On behalf of the venerable African Ulemas present and those who did not come for valid reasons, knowing their resolve to take part later, God willing, we proclaim our adherence to this timely call”

At the end of this historic ceremony, King Mohammed VI who was accompanied by HRH Crown Prince, HRH Prince Moulay Rachid and HH Prince Moulay Ismail, was greeted by the African Moslem scholars.

In a statement to MAP, the ulama who attended the ceremony praised the pioneering role of the Kingdom in strengthening secular religious ties among African countries.

Mustapha Sonta, Khalife General of Ivorian Tidjanes, called Mohammed VI Foundation for African Ulema “” unique “” and expressed his gratitude to the King of Morocco, adding that ” The Foundation aims at unifying the efforts of Ulema in Morocco and other African countries for the promotion and dissemination of the noble values ​​of Islam, noting that this religious institution also seeks the support research and studies in the field of Islamic thought and culture.

For his part, Mr. Ahmed Tijani Umar, a Ghanian American established in the United States and professor of Religious Studies in the US, said that King Mohammed VI enjoys high esteem in circles of clerics and imams in the US considering the significant role played by the King in the radiance of the religion of Islam. Morocco gives the image of a modern country that has managed to reconcile between authenticity and modernity and is an example of a better understanding of Islam that adapts to modern life , concluded Mr. Tijani Umar.

As for Mr. Mohammed Taha, one of the clerics of Senegal, he highly praised the role of Morocco in the field of religion and openness to African countries in this field, noting that Morocco and Senegal maintain religious and spiritual ties thanks to the commitment of the King of Morocco in giving great importance to religious and economic ties with the countries of the African continent.

For his part, Mr Aboubakar Omar Abdelouahed of Cameroon highlighted the solid quality of the relationship uniting Morocco and the African countries in many areas and commended Morocco’s efforts in the religious service of Africans and of all of the Africa continent.

Libyan Crisis: An agreement reached and Morocco hailed for supporting UN led peace talks to put an end to the Libyan political and security crisis

July 13th, 2015

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Morocco, Jul 11, 2015

The 6th round of inter-Libyan political talks held under the auspices of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya took place in Skhirat, Morocco. Libyan parties to the three year old political conflict came to an agreement to put an end to the political crisis in Libya.

The negotiations led to the Skhirat agreement which was initialed by all the protagonists, including the leaders of the Libyan political parties.

This agreement’s signing ceremony was also attended by the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Presidents of the Moroccan House of Representatives and the Senate in addition to several foreign Ambassadors as observers, in the absence of representatives of the National General Congress (CNG) said the Parliament of Tripoli.

International reactions to the Skhirat agreement came from around the world, Spain, Egypt, the UN as well as EU Parliament. All reactions congratulated the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and hailed Morocco for supporting the UN led talks to end the Libyan crisis.

At the end of the talks, all Libyan parties to the conflict thanked the King of Morocco for his generosity and his concern over the security and stability of their country.

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Party of ‘Republicans’, received by King Mohammed VI

June 23rd, 2015

Rabat, June 22, 2015

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King Mohammed VI received, at the Royal Palace in Rabat, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republican Party.

The King was then greeted by the delegation accompanying Mr. Sarkozy, namely Christian Cambon, Senator of the Val de Marne and President of France-Morocco friendship group in the Senate, Mrs. Rachida Dati, member of European Parliament, Luc Chatel, deputy of Haute Marne and Chairman of the France-Morocco friendship group at the National Assembly, Pierre Lellouche, Member of Parliament of Paris, Olivier Marleix, Eure-et-Loire member of parliament, Pierre Regent, diplomatic Advisor and Véronique Waché, Press and Communication Adviser .

Morocco: A hub for automotive industry

June 22nd, 2015

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King Mohammed VI chaired the signing ceremony of the establishment of France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Kenitra. This project will further boost the economy of the region and create 4,500 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2019.

Companies select Morocco mainly for the country’s political and socioeconomic stability as well as its infrastructure, geographical location, the quality of its human resources as well as its business climate.

The Chief Executive of PSA Peugeot-Citroen Group, Carlos Antunes Tavares said that the choice of Morocco is no coincidence noting that the Kingdom of Morocco offers many advantages, political, socio-economic, commercial and geographical.

King Mohammed VI launched the construction of a 57-million dirham transport/logistics & vocational training center in Libreville: South-South cooperation

June 12th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco and President Ali Bongo Ondimba launched the construction of a 57-million dirhams transport/logistics vocational training center in Libreville. This project will be Funded by Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development as a commitment of the King of Morocco to build competencies in all the Continent, especially in Gabon, a country determined to diversify and strengthen its economy.

This center on transport and logistics will help meet the needs of economic operators for skilled human resources, strengthen youth employability and promote their integration in the labour market as well as help support Gabon’s major social and economic development projects.

King Mohammed VI Donated 14 Tons of Medicines and medical equipment to Gabon

June 12th, 2015

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– On Friday, King Mohammed VI donated two tons of medicines to the Application School of Military Health Services to treat opportunistic infections associated with HIV/ AIDS and twelve tons of medicines and technical medical equipment to the Gabonese health authorities.

This donation was offered by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development to the Gabonese institutions that take care of HIV patients, including antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal drugs.

The medical equipment includes a Moroccan assistance to health care facilities in Gabon.

This assistance is made up of conventional drugs in psychiatry, neurology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, cardiology, anesthesia, intensive care, pulmonology, otorhinolaryngology, Dermatology and allergolog, in addition to medical devices, including table-top autoclaves (sterilizers), electronic blood pressure monitors, infrared thermometers, electrocardiographs, and medical fungibles (consumables and surgical products).

Morocco sharing the unique and successful experience of human development with Gabon: South-South cooperation at its very best

June 9th, 2015

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After holding a private talk with the Gabonese President at the Presidential Palace, the King of Morocco and his host chaired a presentation ceremony of Moroccan-Gabonese Cooperation on Human Development, namely the experience-sharing between the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) and Gabon’s Human Investment Strategy (SIHG).

Both integrated policies, which aim at reducing poverty and precariousness, reflect the commitment of the two Heads of States, King Mohammed VI and President Ali Bongo Ondimba, to promote the welfare of the citizens and to insure a sustainable development of their respective countries.

Sharing Morocco’s 10-year INDH expertise confirms the determination of Morocco and Gabon to deepen and broaden their partnership and rely on their own strength to meet the legitimate aspirations of their two brotherly peoples.

On this occasion, Moroccan Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad underlined that human development and investment are considered as two strategic large-scale projects for Morocco and Gabon, and that sharing expertise in this area mirrors the solidarity-based and win-win cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Hassad added that a Moroccan-Gabonese joint team was mobilized to draft a working plan on human development and investment while taking into consideration the two countries’ unique experiences on human development, namely the INDH and SIHG.

Minister Hassad noted that over the past 10 years 9.7 million people benefited from this initiative: 50% in the rural area, 38,340 projects, including 20% related to income-generating activities.

Morocco and Spain: 11th High Level Meeting, co-chaired by the heads of the governments of the two countries

June 8th, 2015

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Signing of several cooperation agreements between Morocco and Spain

Madrid, June 05, 2015

- Morocco and Spain signed several cooperation agreements in the fields of justice, transport, tourism, environment and social development.

These agreements which were signed in the framework of the holding of the 11th High Level Meeting, co-chaired by the heads of government of the two countries, Abdelilah Benkirane and Mariano Rajoy are:

- A joint declaration on judicial cooperation was signed by the Minister of Justice and Freedoms and his Spanish counterpart;
- An agreement on tourism for 2015/2016 was signed by Tourism Minister and the Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria;
- A Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Transport was signed between the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics and the Spanish Minister of Public Works;
- A memorandum of understanding in the field of water resources was concluded by the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment and the Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment;
- A draft declaration of intentions in social development was signed by the Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development and the Spanish Minister of Health Alfonso Alonso.
- A draft declaration on intentions of the twinning between the Agency and the Basin Loukous and the Hydrographic Confederation of Segura was signed by the Deputy Minister for Water and the Spanish Secretary of State for the Environment.

King Mohammed VI arrives to Gabon: Libreville fit for a King

June 8th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI arrived to Gabon last Friday for a working and friendship visit, the last stop of four African countries among which Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast. 
Upon his Arrival, the King was greeted by Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabonese officials, Ambassadors accredited in Gabon as well as the Moroccan community.

In a statement issued by the Gabonese Presidency, the two Heads of States will sign several cooperation agreements during this visit. The program will also include the launching of a vocational training center in trade, transport and logistics, as well as a donation of 10 tons of medicine to the military Hospital.

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The privileged relationship between Morocco and Gabon date back to the time of the fathers of the two current leaders, Hassan II and Omar Bongo Ondimba. These relations were further boosted in recent years, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI and Ali Bongo. The two countries have multiplied cooperation and agreements designed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economy.

For the record, Moroccan companies are present in key sectors of the Gabonese economy, with for example the Moroccan banking group Attijariwafa Bank, which bought the Gabonese Union Bank (UGB third bank in the country) in 2009 as well as Morocco Telecom which is a majority shareholder of Gabon Telecom, the country’s second telecommunications company.

More than half of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Morocco were in Africa over the last five years, amounting to 1.5 billion euros, according to the National Moroccan Exchange Office. For King Mohammed VI, this is the third tour of its kind in three years on the African continent where the diplomatic activity of the Kingdom aims at balancing its absence in the African Union (AU).

King Mohammed VI leaves Ivory Coast for Gabon

June 8th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI left Ivory Coast this Friday heading to Gabon, fourth and last tour in the African Continent. The main objective of this historic tour is to reinforce South-South cooperation and bring Morocco’s support to other countries in the region in many fields.

According to a Communiqué published at the end of this friendship and work visit of the king of Morocco to Ivory Coast, the Ivoirian President, Alassane Ouatarra “reiterated his country’s firm support for Morocco’s proposal to grant a large autonomy to the Sahara region, all in safeguarding Morocco’s sovereignty, unity and territoria integrity “. 
The Ivoirian Head of State also “praised Morocco’s efforts to reach a final settlement to the regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara” concluded the communiqué.


The visit of the King of Morocco to the Ivory Coast opens up new prospects for a successful and innovative cooperation, allowing the two countries to capitalize on their promising partnership, to create a win-win partnership dynamics.

The King of Morocco continues his historic visit to Africa, still in Abidjan: an update

June 5th, 2015

Updates from Abidjan on King Mohammed VI historic visit:

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_ King Mohammed VI received Thursday in Abidjan the Speaker of Ivorian National Assembly, Guillaume Soro.

_ Twenty-two agreements of public-private and private-private economic partnership were signed, on Wednesday in Abidjan between Morocco and Ivory Coast as part of the 1st session of the Morocco-Côte d’Ivoire economic working group.

These agreements that were inked under the co-chairmanship of Moroccan foreign minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, and Ivorian state minister and minister of foreign affairs, Charles Diby Koffi, involve mainly the sectors of banking, security, insurance, education, industry, transportation, Tourism, infrastructure and logistics.

Speaking on this occasion, the Moroccan Foreign Minister said that these agreements are “ready for implementation” at the technical and financial levels, adding that since the first visit by King Mohammed VI to Ivory Coast in March 2013, a committee was set up to elaborate and structure these projects. These projects focus on human development, sharing expertise and know-how and economy, concluded Minister Mezouar.

Ivorian State minister and minister of foreign affairs, Charles Koffi Diby, also said, on this occasion, that Morocco and Ivory Coast are giving the best example in Africa through a frank, strategic and win-win bilateral partnership, concluding that “We are eager to implement the will of HM the King and the president of the republic, to promote bilateral cooperation and show that alliance, coherence and joining efforts are possible in Africa”.

The foreign ministers of both states are tasked with supervising and facilitating the implementation of this cooperation. The Ivorian Minister is convinced that the Morocco-Ivory Coast economic impetus group will help create alliances between the Moroccan and Ivorian private sectors.

King Mohammed VI determined to show that South South cooperation is the answer to the African Continent challenges

June 4th, 2015

sm_le_roi-__complexe_de_formation_professionnelle_-_btp_-_m1_0King Mohammed VI and President Alassane Ouattara chaired in Abidjan, the ceremony of presenting the Cocody Bay development and preservation project worth 1.7 billion dirhams (100 billion CFA francs).

A presentation highlighting the broad lines of this project which was elaborated in response to the Royal instructions to safeguard and develop the Cocody Bay, and ensure the ecological restoration of this bay as well as of the Ebrié Lagoon was made before the two heads of states.

The project includes the building of a dam, hydraulic and marine structures, road infrastructures, crossings, a cable-stayed viaduct, a marina, an urban park and promenades. In Additon, the project will develop an ambitious program for sports, cultural, recreational and commercial facilities for people of Abidjan.

This ceremony was also marked by screening a corporate film casting light on the project to safeguard and develop the Cocody Bay .

In February 2014, King Mohammed VI give instructions to Marchica Med to put its expertise at the disposal of the Ivorian government to conduct the environmental studies of the Ebrié Lagoon and Cocody Bay.

Developed in close collaboration with Ivorian authorities, this project covers hydraulic and sedimentary aspects, liquid and solid sanitation, landscaping, mobility and urban transport. It will also develop an urban vision for the development of the Cocody Bay and proposes solutions for the de-pollution of the Ebrié lagoon and the renewal of its waters.

In a presentation by the coordinator of the emergency urban infrastructure project, Pierre Dimba, an overview of this integrated project that aims to provide concrete and appropriate solutions to the many urban and environmental problems plaguing the Cocody Bay was given.

Four agreements relating to this project were later signed before the two heads of State which included the following:

– Framework-Agreement to provide assistance to the contracting authority in the project to safeguard and develop the Cocody Bay.

– Mandate agreement for the structural and the financial arrangement of the project to safeguard and develop the Cocody Bay.

– Memorandum of Understanding to mobilize the priority funding for the project to safeguard and develop the Cocody Bay.

– Partnership agreement between Engineering and Development Council (CID) and the National Bureau of Technical and Development Studies (BNETD).

King Mohammed VI working tirelessly to reinforce South South cooperation: Ivory Coast is benefiting from Morocco’s know how in many fields

June 3rd, 2015

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King Mohammed VI and the President of the Republic of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, chaired in Abidjan the signing ceremony of six bilateral agreements of cooperation in different areas among which:



- An agreement on the sale of State-owned shares in Société Ivoirienne de Banque (SIB) to Attijariwafa Bank (Acquisition Agreement).


- An agreement on the construction of a fish unloading point in the town of Grand-Lahou in Ivory Coast.
- An agreement on the authorization of a frequency modulated emission to Radio Méditerranée Internationale in Ivory Coast between the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) and Radio Méditerranée Internationale-Medi 1.
- A Memorandum of Understanding between the Casablanca Finance City Authority and the Centre for Investment Promotion in Ivory Coast.
- A Memorandum of Understanding between the National Agency for Support to Rural Development (ANADER) of Ivory Coast and the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP)


- A Memorandum of Understanding with the Coffee-Cocoa Board and L’Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP).



King Mohammed VI donated Two Tons of Medicines to Ivorian Anti-Aids Program


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King Mohammed VI handed a donation of two tons of medicines in favor of an Anti-Aids Program to the University Hospital Center of Yopougon in Abidjan. This donation is fully in line with the vision of King Mohammed VI to provide a humanist content to Morocco’s solidarity with African countries and South-South cooperation through the launch of a host of programs to assist disadvantaged populations in the continent.




The royal donation is yet another consecration of the fruitful and exemplary cooperation between Morocco and Ivory Coast in the field of health, medical and paramedical training.


 It also reflects the determination of the King of Morocco to contribute to the progress and prosperity of the Ivorian people and to the establishment of a strategic, multifaceted and determined partnership between the two countries. This vision is also to mobilize the full potential of Ivory Coast to achieve the objectives of sustainable and human development in this country.


 This donation is composed of two tons of medicines to treat opportunistic diseases and infections associated with AIDS.

The King Launches a project to build fish unloading site in Grand Lahou

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King Mohammed VI launched in Abidjan along with the Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, the building works of a fish unloading site in Grand Lahou, for a total budget of 20 million dirhams.




The project will be financed by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development in the amount of 13 million dirhams and the Fisheries Department (7 million dirhams), as part of South-South cooperation. This project reflects the strong friendship ties between Morocco and Ivory Coast.


 This project is meant to improve the working conditions of local fishermen.


 Located 150 km west of Abidjan, on the road to San Pedro, the project also demonstrates the commitment of Ivory Coast to encourage infrastructure development in the fisheries sector, thereby creating jobs while relieving congestion in and around Abidjan.




the King Launches Building Works of a Training Center in Construction, Tourism in Abidjan





King Mohammed VI launched, along with the Ivorian Prime Minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan, the building works of a training center in construction and tourism, for a total budget of 55 million dirhams.


 The center will provide vocational training in construction and public works sectors, as well as tourism, hotel and catering.


 It will meet the needs of economic operators in skilled human resources, enhance the employability of young people and promote their professional integration and ensure support for major social and economic development projects undertaken by Ivory Coast.


 The center is expected to open its doors in October 2016. 




The King of Morocco continues his historic visit to African countries: South-South cooperation at its best

May 31st, 2015

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May 30, 2015 is a day to remember for Ivorians and Moroccan residing in Ivory Coast for decenies as their city is dressed at its finest to welcome the King of Morocco, the only leader in the African reach out to the other countries in order to offer practical solutions and further strengthen south-south cooperation

King Mohammed VI arrived late Saturday afternoon to the Ivorian metropolis for a working and friendship visit to the Republic of Ivory Coast.
hundreds of Ivorian citizens and members of the Moroccan community cheered the King visit on the Ivorian soil accompanied by President Alassane Ouattara.

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In a statement to Maghreb Arab Press, the President of the Ivorian National Assembly (Parliament), Guillaume Soro said that the Kings continuous visits to African countries shows that there is a possible way of development for the South recalling that “recalling that His Majesty the King had declared in 2014 in Abidjan,” that since Africa is no longer colonized, “Africa should learn to trust Africa. ”

Soro qualified the bilateral relations between the two countries, which date back to 1962, of “excellent”, “deep” and “exemplary” , recalling that late King Hassan II, and late President Felix Houphouet-Boigny sealed the friendship between the two peoples and States. He continued that “King Mohammed VI and President Alassane Ouattara are both a catalyst in strengthening relations between the two States on the diplomatic, political, economic and cultural levels among others.”

The King of Morocco Hands Equipment for Safeguarding Guinea-Bissau Livestock

May 29th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI accompanied by the President José Mario Vaz watched over the livestock equipment delivery for the Safeguarding of Guinea-Bissau donated by the Kingdom of Morocco.

The donation granted by Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development, consists of veterinary products to accompany Guinea Bissau in developing its animal resources to support the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and ranchers in improving driving and protecting flocks.

This donation is very much needed to respond to the role played by agriculture and livestock in food security and the promotion of economic and social development and as an effort to strengthen the prospects for bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector.

These veterinary products granted by Morocco will allow sanitation of livestock (sheep, cattle, goats, poultry …) against contagious animal diseases through vaccination, in addition to the improved performance of livestock and increased productivity. They are also intended to fight against communicable diseases to humans.

The King of Morocco continues his visit to Guinea-Bissau: a generous medical donation to Aids patients

May 29th, 2015

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After the signing of 16 bilateral agreements between Morocco and Guinea Bissau, the second day of the King of Morocco’s visit to this African country was full of activities to further build the friendship between the two countries and as a gesture of good faith from Morocco to show that South South cooperation is the answer to the continent’s problems.

Accompanied by President José Mario Vaz, King Mohammed VI donated medical equipment and medicines to the National Simao Mendes Hospital, Guinea-Bissau’s national anti-AIDS secretariat (SNLS). This royal donation which was made by Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development as part of the King of Morocco’s initiatives to bestow a human aspect on Morocco’s solidarity with the African continent and further reinforce south-south cooperation is composed of over two tons of medicines to treat AIDS-related diseases and infections. The donation also comprises a batch of 3.5 tons of medical equipment for diagnosis, including radiology material, monitoring medical material (ICU), mother/child medical material and laboratory material, as well as 4.5 tons of medical fungible (consumable and suture products for surgical use ).

Another donation was made by the King of Morocco, Commander of the Faithful, of 10,000 copies of the Holy Quran to the authorities in charge of managing religious affairs in Guinea Bissau, following the Friday Prayer which the King performed in the Attadamoun mosque along with the Speaker of Guinea-Bissau’s National Assembly. This donation is part of the implementation of the Royal Instructions to meet the needs of mosques in West Africa of the Holy Quran according to the recitation of Warsh from Nafi that is adopted in Morocco and western African countries as part of spreading the values of a tolerant and moderate Islam which is practiced in the Kingdom of Morocco.

The King of Morocco’s visit to Guinea-Bissau started with the signing of 16 agreements

May 29th, 2015

timthumb-2.phpMohammed VI and President José Mario Vaz chaired, on Thursday at the presidential palace in Bissau, the signing ceremony of 16 bilateral agreements in different partnership areas of cooperation.

The agreements are:

- An agreement on security and local governance between the homeland security departments of both countries;
- An agreement on visa abolition for holders of diplomatic, service or special passports;
- An agreement on non-double taxation and tax evasion regarding income taxes;
- An agreement on investment encouragement and reciprocal protection;
- A draft agreement on justice;
- A cooperation agreement on fisheries and aquaculture;
- A cooperation agreement on agriculture;
- A tripartite agreement -Morocco-Guinea Bissau-FAO- as part of south-south cooperation;
- A framework technical cooperation agreement on infrastructure;
- A cooperation agreement on health;
- A framework cooperation agreement on mining;
- An agreement on handicraft and social and solidarity-based economy;
- An agreement between the national office for electricity and drinking water (ONEE) and Guinea-Bissau’s electricity and water company (EAGB);
- A partnership agreement on solar energy development between the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy “MASEN” and the ministry of energy and industry;
- A cooperation framework agreement on vocational training;
- A framework agreement on scholarships and internships in Morocco for Guinea-Bissau’s students, executives and technicians;

King Mohammed VI arrived to the Republic of Guinea Bissau for an official visit

May 28th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI arrived this Thursday to the Republic of Guinea Bissau for an official visit after a very successful and fruitful visit to Senegal.

Upon arrival, the King of Morocco was welcomed by Mr. José Mario Vaz, the President of Guinea-Bissau. After the official Grand welcome and greeting, the two heads of states went the Presidential Palace where King Mohammed VI decorated the President of Guinea-Bissau with Wissam Al Mohammadi outstanding Class.
For his part, President José Mario Vaz, decorated the Moroccan King of “Amilcar Cabral” medal, the highest distinction of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.

Morocco proposes concrete solutions to the challenges of Africa as a “true partner”, “The Hill”

May 27th, 2015

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In an article on “The Hill” by Mr Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center, the Atlantic Council, “Morocco proposes concrete solutions to the challenges of Africa as a “true economic partner” of the continent and a key player in sustainable development and regional security”.

“Increasingly, many African countries are looking to Morocco, not only to learn from the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), which just celebrated its tenth anniversary, but also as a true partner on development” added Mr Pham.

During King Mohammed VI visit last year to the Ivory Coast, he stated that “Morocco fully assumes its African vocation”, and that South-South cooperation should be at the heart of economic partnerships between African countries.

Therefore, philanthropists and large Moroccan groups have been quick to increase their presence in the continent, noted Peter Pham citing all the agreements signed between Morocco and Senegal on all fields to advance human and sustainable development.

Two of the largest banking groups in Morocco, “Attiwarijafa” and “BMCE”, are present in 19 African countries. BMCE Group is a pioneer in the field of financial services available to the African middle class expansion, said Pham who highlighted the leadership of the Kingdom as an essential hub to the mainland, under the leadership of the strategic vision of King Mohammed VI, both as an opportunity for business but also as a key actor in the efforts against terrorism and regional security.

In its recent National Security Strategy, the Obama administration rightly recognizes the dynamic changes in America’s relationship with Africa, concluded Peter Pham, suggesting that the United States can benefit from experienced countries like Morocco who already have local solutions to the challenges of the continent.

Human development at the core of King Mohammed VI strategy, a lesson to the rest of Africa

May 27th, 2015

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As the visit of the King of Morocco continues in Senegal, many projects were either inaugurated or launched. In addition to fifteen agreements signed on May 21st in several areas including customs, industry, animal health, tourism and the environment, the Senegalese and Moroccan governments signed five more new agreements in various areas including real estate, transportation and solar energy.

One of these agreements will allow the construction of “the city of emergence” in Dakar, a real estate project of 17 laps of ten floors each, by the Moroccan group Addoha and at a cost of over 20 billion CFA francs (more than € 30.4 million). The site was launched in 2014 by President Sall.

Another agreement is intended to restock 800 trucks in Senegal.

The other agreements relate to fishing, solar energy, education and research, investment, fund raising in the capital market in West Africa, the rehabilitation of the largest public ranch in Senegal and funding for the second University of Dakar.

The Senegalese and Moroccan leaders also launched the construction of a new fishing pier in Dakar. This infrastructure, financed by Morocco, aims to “improve working conditions” for Senegalese artisanal fishermen.

Moroccan-Senegalese agreement to develop an integrated urban center in the city of Dakar

A Memorandum of Understanding to convert the site of the international airport Léopold Sédar Senghor was signed Monday between the Caisse de dépôt et de Gestion (CDG) and the Deposit and Consignment of Senegal (CDC) for the development of the business city in West Africa in Dakar in view of the emergence of an urban center built in the Senegalese capital.

The agreement signed before the two heads of states stipulates that both parties carry out preliminary studies for the design and structuring of this new project of urban development.

The new integrated urban center in Dakar will include various components, namely residential, tourist centers and other service facilities.

This agreement further enhances the excellent relations between the two brotherly countries and will allow to pull expertise and strong synergies between CDG and CDC as part of the vision of the two countries to further consolidate south-south cooperation.

This economic project will provide an opportunity for investment and job creation by involving local businesses, and give impetus to the economic and social dynamics of the region.

Real estate project ‘Cité des fonctionnaires’

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King Mohammed VI and President Macky Sall visited the real estate project “Cité des fonctionnaires” (civil servants’ residence), situated in the Diamiadio urban center in Dakar and built by Peacock Investments, a subsidiary of Moroccan group Holmarcom. The real estate project is built over 73 hectares and is designed to provide housing for civil servants and employees of Senegal’s middle class for reasonable prices.

Worth 37 billion CFA francs, the project is the fruit of a Moroccan group and Senegalese operators and involves the construction of 2850 houses. This is part of Morocco’s commitment, under the leadership of the King, to contribute to the socio-economic development of brotherly countries like Senegal through projects with a strong social impact.

The integrated project provides for the building of public service facilities and trade areas to meet the daily needs of the citizens, notably a school, a health center, a mosque, a trade center and sports fields.

The Diamiadio urban center will be a new city with an international conference center, hotels, a ministerial center, Dakar’s second university, an industrial and commercial center and an area for sports and entertainment.

Human and sustainable development projects like these mirror the win-win partnership which makes the basis of Morocco’s African policy and seeks to enable African countries in general, and Senegal in particular, to benefit from the Moroccan housing expertize within the framework of south-south partnership. King Mohammed VI tour in Africa will take him to Gabon, Guinea Bissau and Ivory Coast.

The visit of the King of Morocco continues in Senegal with the launching of projects to benefit the Senegalese population

May 25th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI and Senegalese President Macky Sall launched the building works of a small-scale fishing unloading site in Soumbedioune in Dakar.

 Upon their arrival at the site, the King and President Macky Sall were greeted by Senegalese Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Oumar Gueye, Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, the Governor of Dakar, Delegate President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development, Mostafa Terrab and CEO of Attijariwafabank Group, Mohamed El Kettani, as well as other figures.

 Explanations were provided to both Heads of State on the project as part of South-South cooperation and which is meant to reflect friendship ties between the two countries. 

The budget allocated for this project, funded by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development, is estimated at 20 million dirhams. 

The project is meant to improve the unloading of fish and the daily life of traditional fishermen. It comprises ten entities: a fish market, a cold room, an ice factory, administrative facilities, a fish processing area, a retail market, mechanical workshops and pontoons for landing fish. 

The Senegalese Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy will supervise the project management, the allocation of the facilities to fishermen and the maintenance of its components.

 The site, which is located in the Bay of Soumebedioune, is home to 306 canoes and about 1,500 sailors.

 All the projects launched so far by the King of Morocco in Senegal are to benefit the local population to share the know how Morocco has with Senegal, the first stop of King Mohammed VI tour in Africa before Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast and Gabon.

Moroccan-Senegalese Economic Impetus Group taking off with 15 major agreements

May 25th, 2015

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Dakar, May 25, Fifteen public-private and private-private economic partnership agreements were signed today at the presidential palace in Dakar, before King Mohammed VI and Senegalese President Macky Sall during the ceremony of setting up the Moroccan-Senegalese economic impetus group.



These agreements are:



- A memorandum of understanding to develop western African business city in Dakar,
- A cooperation agreement on sea fisheries and aquaculture,


- An agreement between Morocco’s Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) and the State of Senegal, on raising funds on the financial market of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) of up to 30 billion CFA francs.
- A financing agreement to restore the “ranch de doly” between Attijariwafa Bank Group and the Republic of Senegal,
- A partnership agreement between Morocco’s Atlantic micro-finance and Senegalese ministry of economy and finance,
- An investment agreement between the Douja Development Company (Addoha Group in Senegal) and the Republic of Senegal,

A Spanish Expert in the region sees Morocco as “a clear and inspiring example of solidarity in its relations with African countries”

May 25th, 2015

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The visit of the King of Morocco to some African countries has triggered reactions from the media throughout Europe because of its strategic importance in a time when the world is seeking alliances for peace and sustainable development. In an article written by the spanish journalist/writer and expert on North African politics, Ramon Moreno Castilla, published in the Spanish magazine “Atalayar entre dos orillas” titled “Morocco, a locomotive to Africa “, the King of Morocco is described as a “real promoter of a new pan-Africanism solidarity” through political “and farsighted vision of the future” for the development and prosperity of the African continent. the King is also seen as a “great statesman” who has been sharing since his enthronement in 1999 of his “strong commitment” to develop Morocco’s relations with African countries and through several initiatives. The spanish expert wrote also that the King of Morocco “is personally committed to promoting credible and serious solutions to the various conflicts in Africa, as is the case in Mali,” highlighting “Morocco’s solid policy for peace and prosperity in the continent”. This policy is part of the “Sovereign’s constant efforts to establish peace and lasting stability” in Africa, adds Ramon Moreno, noting that the new African tour of King Mohammed VI reflects the will and interest of Morocco to give “new impetus” to its economic and friendly relations with African countries. According to this article, the King’s visit to Africa is “a renewed action of solidarity and cooperation with the African countries”, and “that Morocco is an example of political and religious stability in an “agitated” continent. The Spanish concludes her article by highlighting the fact that “Morocco’s solidarity goes beyond visits to include taking part in UN missions for peace, refugee aid and the fight against famine in Africa” summing up that ” Morocco is a clear and inspiring example of solidarity in its relations with African countries”.

King Mohammed VI Arrives to Saint Louis, Northern Senegal

May 24th, 2015

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King Mohammed VI who started his trip to Africa beginning with Senegal, arrived this Saturday afternoon to Saint Louis where he was greeted by Senegal’s President Macky Sall. 

The two heads of States went to the rural community of Sakal, in the department of Louga, where they inaugurated the connection of the villages of Massar Teugue and Yamane Seck to the national electricity grid.

Upon their arrival to the project site, the King and the Senegalese President were greeted by several Senegalese and Moroccan officials. 

Explanations were provided to the two heads of states on the program of rural electrification and geographical division of electrification concessions, the rural electrification concession in the regions of Saint Louis and Louga-Linguere-Kebemer and the rural electrification concessions of Louga through the connection of Yamane Seck and Teugue Massar to the electricity grid.



King Mohammed VI and the Senegalese President symbolically handed power contracts to six beneficiaries in the villages of Massar Teugue and Yamane Seck.

 Then, the two heads of State launched the electrification of the two adjoining villages.

 The project is part of two rural electrification concessions awarded to national water and electricity authority (ONEE) by the Senegalese State following two international tenders.

 The project will benefit 87 homes (400 households) and will provide electricity to three mosques, two schools and a health center. this project requires a budget of 30 million CFA Francs.



A warm popular welcome was reserved to the two leaders.

In fifteen years, the Global Rural Electrification Program has allowed Morocco to generalize access to electricity throughout the territory contributing, within the framework of the National Initiative Human Development launched by King Mohammed VI, to the improvement in the living conditions of rural citizens and this is what Morocco is trying to help Senegal achieve.

on this Project:

“This project is of paramount importance and reflects the long-standing relations between Morocco and Senegal and the special relationship between His Majesty King Mohammed VI and President Macky Sall” said the Director General of the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification (ASER), Mr. Samba Gueye Antou to the Maghreb Arab Press, highlighting the great importance given by the King of Morocco to a cooperation in the field of energy. Mr Samba added that this project is a new beginning for many more projects and for more intensive cooperation between the companies managing the energy in Senegal and Moroccan companies that are world leaders in the field of energy. He continued that more than 250 villages that are electrified under this project will have a positive impact on the lives of beneficiaries, particularly in terms of creating income-generating activities in agriculture in particular, and in job creation. ‘Aware of the importance of electricity, the populations of Massar and Teugue Yamane Seck, located in the rural commune in the Department of Sakal Louga (North Senegal), have since been celebrating” the fact that soon they will have truly modern villages” added Mr Samba, concluding that this project is also of utmost importance to Senegal because since independence in 1960 until 2000, the electrification rate remained very low, not exceeding 8 pc. Now with this partnership, the ambitious target set by President Macky Sall is to reach 60 percent by 2017.

Echoes from the Visit of the King of Morocco to Africa

May 22nd, 2015

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In a Statement to the Maghreb Arab Press, the Argentinian scholar Carlos Adalberto Agozino said that The new African tour of King Mohammed VI shows the great importance and interest of the King to the consolidation of cooperation with the countries of Africa, as part of a South-South cooperation. Mr. Agozino welcomed the efforts made by Morocco, under the leadership of the King, to strengthen South-South cooperation through the implementation of development projects in several African countries. According to the Argentine scholar, Morocco plays a leading role in its regional space and is considered as a balancing power in the North African region, because of its political and economic stability, adding that the Kingdom can thus contribute effectively to the development of neighboring and African countries.

The King’s African tour started with Senegal will continue in Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast and Gabon.

The case of Younes Tssouli

May 22nd, 2015

Younes Tsouli is a Moroccan-born resident of the United Kingdom who, in 2007, was found guilty of incitement to commit acts of terrorism (a crime introduced in the Terrorism Act 2006) and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The British authorities deported him to Morocco.

As soon as Younes Tssouli returned to Morocco, he intentionally set fire to his parents home. He then, stranded himself on the roof of a building in Rabat Agdal, home of the Consul General of Great Britain, where he was threatening people with a knife. The police was called in and it took them 13 hours of negotiations with the help of a psychiatrist to disarm, contain and arrest him.

In a statement from the Attorney General at the Court of Appeal in Rabat Morocco, the Moroccan Younes Tssouli told police that he suffered abuse and sexual assaults during his incarceration in the UK. The court of Appeal announced that Youness will be subjected to a medical examination for verification of the validity of the accusations. If these are confirmed, a judicial investigation will be opened and forwarded to the British courts for investigation, the statement concluded.

First stop of King Mohammed VI’s tour in Africa was Senegal

May 22nd, 2015

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Ties between Morocco and Senegal are deep and founded on spirituality and respect to the King of Morocco because he is a direct descendent of the Prophet and the highest religious authority in Morocco. One of the main objectives of Morocco’s vision towards Africa is the promotion of a tolerant form of Islam. The Senegalese People consider the visit of the King of Morocco to Senegal very significant and therefore go out to the streets to cheer his arrival.

Once landed, King Mohammed VI was greeted by crowds praising his leadership not only in Morocco but also in the rest of the Continent.

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Upon the Arrival of the King of Morocco, he had closed door talks with President Macky Sall and then they both Chaired the Signing of 13 agreements. Out of the 13 agreements many seek to promote human development programs because of their direct impact on the population such as the agreement between Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Senegalese government, in addition to setting up of an economic impetus group.




The thirteen agreements are:


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- A memorandum of understanding to foster economic partnership and help with the emergence of regional economic actors (setting up an economic impetus group),

- An agreement on customs administrative assistance,



- An agreement to construct a small-scale fishing unloading site in Soumbedioune in Dakar,
- An agreement on territorial administration cooperation,
- A memorandum of understanding on handicraft and social and solidarity-based economy,
- An industrial cooperation draft agreement,



- A cooperation framework agreement on logistics,



- A cooperation draft agreement on the milk, equine, animal health and veterinary public health sectors,
- A 2015-2018 tourism implementation program,
- An agreement between Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Senegalese government,



- A cooperation framework agreement on vocational training,



- A cooperation agreement on purification between the national office for electricity and drinking water (ONEE) and Senegal’s national office for purification (ONAS),



- A cooperation agreement on water between the national office for electricity and drinking water (ONEE) and Senegal’s national company for waters (SONES),

This visit has triggered the curiosity of some African and European Press which covered this African tour because of its strategic importance.

A Suisse expert “Morocco is positioned as an example of stability and continuity not only in its economic and social growth, but in its desire to continue to strengthen effective cooperation with African countries”

May 21st, 2015

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco, started a tour of some African countries, the third round of its kind in three years, to the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of Ivory Coast, the Republic of Gabon and an official visit to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

On this Royal tour, and in a statement to the Marghreb Arab Press, former US Ambassador to Morocco, Edward Gabriel talked about the African vision of King Mohammed VI who strives to strengthen the fundamentals of an ambitious and assertive South-South cooperation: “The strategy of the sovereign in the continent is to launch innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships, while ensuring the propagation of an open and tolerant Islam, based on the Maliki rite and Achaarite doctrine hand in hand with a vision advocating living together “. The Former US Diplomat added that “This Royale dynamic is not only beneficial to Morocco and sub-Sahara region, it is also of extreme importance to the international community as a whole,”, noting that the King of Morocco’s approach should hence the full support of the United States and other world powers. The current Royal tour, he said, “comes straight from the Sovereign’s vision for the continent and a deep belief in the great human potential and natural resources that abound in Africa as a path to sustainable socio-economic development. According to Ambassador Gabriel, ” Morocco has become “an essential hub for countries of North America and Europe who want to invest in Africa in the industrial and commercial sectors, among others,”. “Free trade agreements between Morocco and the United States on the one hand, and between Morocco and the European Union, on the other hand, offer a unique status to the Kingdom of Morocco to play this catalytic role, which devolves naturally for development in Africa, ” concluded the US Diplomat.

When Asked about this Royal tour also, the Swiss expert of the Arab world, Jean-Marc Maillard said that “The gradual establishment of free trade areas with the West African States Economic Community and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States seems to be a priority for Morocco, “. Mr Maillard estimated that the Kingdom, under the guidance of the King, is positioned as an example of stability and continuity not only in its economic and social growth, but in its desire to continue to strengthen effective cooperation with African countries with whom Morocco has a longstanding relationship, noting that “This is a chance not only for Morocco, but also for the many more countries the King of Morocco visited this year,”. The Lausanne economist added that Morocco’s investment and its contribution to the growth of the African economy is growing. It is also to contribute to the search for equitable committed and competent partnerships, in different areas. In the opinion of Mr. Maillard, Morocco will never abandon the capital goal to conclude free trade agreements with the countries concerned, as their level of political maturity is growing, crowned with economic success, is a source of great satisfaction. Mr. Maillard concluded that “through maintaining contacts at the highest level with the support to engage more strongly that we can be assured of significant results on the medium and the long term”.

The King of Morocco continues the African Dream for a south south cooperation, a visit to Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau

May 18th, 2015

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In a statement from the Moroccan Royal Palace, King Mohammed VI, will start a tour of African some countries, the third round of its kind in three years, to the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of Ivory Coast, the Republic of Gabon and an official visit to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau starting this coming Wednesday May 20th.

During these visits, the King of Morocco will meet with the Presidents of these brotherly countries, chair bilateral agreements and signing ceremonies as well as attending the launch of cooperation projects on human development, the exchange of know how and the strengthening of economic partnership with these countries, added the statement.

Just to recall:

+ Last year, dozens of agreements were signed in the economic, political and religious fields between the Kingdom of Morocco and Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Gabon.

+ On the Religious field, Imams from Guinea, Mali and Ivory Coast have been in training in Rabat, Morocco.

+ In early January, new cooperation agreements were sealed with Abidjan during President Alassane Ouattara visit to Morocco.

+ over the last five years and according to the National Office of Currency, more than half of the direct investments in Africa are from Morocco amounting to 1.5 billion euros.

+ Last year during the peak of ebola fever outbreak in West Africa, Morocco was the only country to maintain all of its air links with the three main affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone).

King of Morocco leading debate on the hot topic of illegal abortion

May 18th, 2015

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After a big debate within the Moroccan society on the issue of Illegal abortion, the King of Morocco took a lead on this issue and on Monday, King Mohammad VI had a consultation meeting with the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Islamic Affairs, and the President of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH). The meeting focussed on the development of a draft law on abortion.

The King of Morocco then instructed the Ministers and the CNDH working on the abortion draft law to take into account both current developments in this area and the wishes of the Moroccan society all in respect to the tolerant and open precepts of Islam. The three concerned departments were also instructed to lead a diverse series of consultations for the reform of the legal provisions as related to the issue of illegal abortion which has become a hot topic within the Moroccan society.

The King of Morocco, as is accustomed, instructed the two Ministers and the President of the CNDH to develop a consultative and objective opinion which prioritizes the interest of the family and the citizens whose majority opt for the criminalization of illegal abortion while demanding that the laws restricting abortion be loose enough to include exceptions for the cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother’s health or fetal malformation.

The King of Morocco takes the lead in fighting radicalism through pragmatic approach

March 28th, 2015

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With the world threatened by the radicalism aspect of their moslem society, Morocco has been dealing with this issue in a very pragmatic way by reforming the religious field in the country and by instilling in imams and women morchidates the values ​​of tolerant, authentic Islam .

For this reason, the King of Morocco who is also the highest religious authority in the country inaugurated, in Rabat, the Institute to train Imams and morchidines/morchidates, a pilot project which enshrines the religious influence of the Kingdom and its commitment to the basic tenets of moderate Islam.

The institute will cost 230 million dirhams to build with 1,000 seats, a lodge accommodation of 310 rooms (700 beds), two dining halls, and a social and sports pavilion. The new facility is intended to accommodate Moroccan Imams as well as others from Arab, African, and European countries. The inauguration is the expression of the supreme role of the Moroccan King as the guarantor of the religious practice of authentic tolerant and open by nature Islam, which is based on the Maliki rite and Sunni Sufism.

The institute will play an important role, alongside other institutions, to preserve the religious identity of Morocco, which bears the seal of openness and tolerance. Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates will be provided with appropriate quality training that will allow them to carry out the supervisory missions and preaching with the responsibility expected of a religious leader.

This project is part of a Moroccan integrated comprehensive and multidimensional strategy which is based on the institutional, on the effective supervision and on modern scientific training pillars.

In addition to its role in the preservation of spiritual tranquility of Moroccans and the unity of the Maliki rite, the inauguration of this institue is to positively respond to requests to train, in Morocco, imams and preachers from African countries such as Tunisia, Mali, Guinea Conakry and Ivory Coast, as well as requests from many European countries.

The old institute accommodates, in addition to Moroccan students enrolled, 447 foreign students: 212 from Mali , 37 from Tunisia, 100 from Guinea Conakry, 75 from Côte d’Ivoire and 23 from France.

In Addition to the inauguration of the Institute to train Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates, King Mohammed VI, commander of the faithful, dedicated last Friday a new “Al Oukhoua Al Islamiya” mosque where He performed the Friday prayer.

The new mosque, with a capacity of 1,250 worshippers, was built by the ministry of Habous and Islamic affairs.

“Al Oukhoua Al Islamiya”, both a teaching and religious facility, contains two prayer halls, one for men and one for women, a room for Koran teaching and other amenities for the worshippers and the mosque attendants.

Designed in pure Moroccan architectural authentic style, the mosque reflects the particular attention that the King grants to religious affairs and his steady will to endow Morocco with mosques that combine practicality and aesthetics, allowing the community of believers to practice religious rituals in good conditions.

Morocco’s leadership in resolving regional conflicts and offering platform for Libyan parties to find a political resolution to unify their country

March 27th, 2015

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Under the auspices of the UN, an inter-libyan dialogue took place in Morocco in order to come to an agreement on a cease-fire as well as build bridges between the libyan factions chosen by the parties in conflict. The objective of the talks were to work on the political architecture for a nationally unified Libya.

The first phase of these talks took place between the members of parliament of Tobrouk, the General National Congress, and deputies of Mesrata, in addition to representatives of NGOs and women. The discussions focussed on political and security aspects of the Libyan crisis.

Other talks were carried out in Algeria between representatives of different political factions and the representatives of regional councils to consolidate the work done in Morocco.

After these talks, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Libya, Bernardino Leon, and the Libyan representatives were very encouraged with the results they described as positive.

This was the first time when the participants managed to agree on the architecture of the political path for Libya leading to a national unified government, a presidential council led by independent personalities chosen by the two parties to the conflict, a legislative body represented by the House of Representatives of Tobrouk and a drafting committee of the constitution which will work on the drafting of the constitutional texts.

The belligerent parties finally accepted the legitimacy of each other in agreeing to make of the House of Representatives of Tobrouk the main legislative body of the country.

The talks also addressed a very important aspect of the conflit and that is that of the armed militia, agreeing to relocated them out of the urban centers and progressively disarm them.

The parties also agreed on the urgent need to combat terrorism and fight the advancement of ISIS and promised to fight this phenomena.

Despite the fact that these talks were tense between the belligerent parties, exceptional progress was made and this was thanks to the active Moroccan diplomacy that played a key role as a neutral peace breaker between the parties to the conflict.

General National Congress (NMC) welcomes the “historic role ‘ of the Kingdom in hosting the negotiations on the Libyan crisis

March 27th, 2015

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Libya crisis:

The chairman of the delegation of the General National Congress (NMC) known as “Parliament of Tripoli,” Saleh Makhzoume, welcomed the ‘historical role’ of Morocco which is hosting on its territory the inter-Libyan political talks aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in Libya.

In an interview with Maghreb Arab Press, Mr Saleh Makhzoume said that the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN on Libya, Bernardino Leon, welcomed the “historic role” the Kingdom of Morocco is playing to resolve the Libyan crisis, thanking the Kingdom for its generosity and for its efforts to create a “suitable” climate for holding these discussions that are ongoing since last week in Skhirate.

The representative of CNG also paid tribute to ‘the neutrality of Morocco’ in the conflict in Libya. “It is this neutrality that led the parties to accept (UN proposal) meeting in Morocco,” said M Makhzoume.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan a guest of His Majesty the King of Morocco

March 18th, 2015

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HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco receives His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who was greeted upon arrival by Prince Moulay Rachid.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was accompanied by a very important delegation namely, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber Minister of State and CEO of Masdar, and a number senior UAE officials.

The King of Morocco hosted at the Royal Palace an official lunch in honor of the Prince of Abou Dhabi right after the signature of numerous bilateral agreements on cooperation.

Illegal Abortion: the King of Morocco steps in tackle the issue

March 17th, 2015

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The Moroccan Royal Cabinet stated in a press release that King Mohammed VI received in audience at the Royal Palace in Casablanca, the Minister of Justice and Liberties and the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. Right after, the King received Mr. Driss El Yazami, President of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH). The audience was to focus on the development of a draft law regarding abortion.

These consultations are part of a royal interaction between the King, the Citizens and various national stakeholders on the concerns of Moroccans over societal issues of the day, including the problem of illegal abortion.

During the royal audience, King Mohammed VI instructed the Ministers to draft a law taking into account both current developments in this area and the precepts of Islam as well as the virtues of Ijtihad, while giving particular attention to the accompaniment of the evolution and aspirations of Moroccan society, while respecting its unity, cohesion and its specificities.

On this occasion, the King gave His High Orientations to both ministers and the President of the National Human Rights Commission to look into the examination of the issue of illegal abortion because it has become a medical priority, and to conduct meetings and extensive consultations with all stakeholders to gather different opinions.

The King of Morocco is the Commander of the faithful and the highest religious authority in Morocco. During this audience, he directed the ministers and the president of the National Human Rights Commission to coordinate and cooperate with the Higher Council of Ulema on the different advice and guidance in order to submit proposals to The King within a maximum period of one month.

These hearings were held in the presence of the King’s Councillor, Mr Fouad Ali El Himma.

A closing ceremony of the Crans Montana Forum: Several international personalities honored in Dakhla, Morocco

March 15th, 2015

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The work of the Crans Montana Forum ended Saturday in Dakhla, with an awards ceremony and Gold medals granted by the Crans Montana Forum founders to international personalities from different backgrounds . Prizes for 2015 Foundation were awarded to the former President of the Republic of Estonia (2001-2006) , Arnold Ruutel , the former Spanish Prime Minister (2004-2011 ), José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, to Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Philippe Douste Blazy, former french Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development (2007-2010), Jean Luis Borloo and the President of the Economic, social and Environmental of Senegal, Aminata Tall.

The large turnout at the Crans Montana Forum is an illustration that Morocco “is a valued and respected country,” said Saturday night in Dakhla, the founding president of this institution, Jean Paul Carleton, adding that the fact the Forum knew the participation of 800 people representing 112 countries “shows that Morocco is a respected and appreciated country throughout the world,”
He added that the perfect organization of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla “is proof in itself that all the future belongs to Morocco.”

“There is an exceptionally pleasant thing to see that people are happy to come to Morocco,” citing that almost 400 participations applications were refused because of the forum registration filled in a record time.
“Morocco is a catalyst for youth (..) there is progress in the tradition and people are reassured to find a pleasant living environment through a visionary dynasty,” Mr Carleton said.

Crans Montana Forum: achievements and challenges of African women at the center of the debate

March 15th, 2015

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The Crans Montana Forum has always been working towards the globlal promotion of Women’s empowerment and the improvement of their fundamental rights, since its creation. To mark its 30th anniversary, the Crans Montana Forum is launching a major initiative, the Crans Montana African Women’s Forum. This forum is a place for discussions, exchanges, reflections and sharing for all women, no matter what their responsibilities are, whether private or public. Numerous personalities and major Organizations have already decided to support this new initiative.

The gains made by African women in the various areas and the challenges they still face were the focus of a panel discussion organized as part of the annual session of the Crans Montana Forum.

Businesswomen and African experts have exchanged their ideas on the role of African women in the field of business, emphasizing the need to work for gender equality, strengthen the education system for girls and to promote early education.

Participants in this panel noted that the African woman has successfully established itself in several business areas as well as political, economic and social, in spite of the difficulties and obstacles. Aminata Tall, President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Senegal, took on the role of women in building the family and safeguard its cohesion, and its efforts to achieve socio-economic development, stressing the need for respect for human rights.

She recalled the achievements made by the Senegalese woman who is present now in the army, adding that the number of girls students in universities is constantly growing. Former First Lady of Ghana, Nana Konadu Rawlings emphasized that one can not talk of development of a society without giving the woman the place she deserves and recognizing her talents, expressing the hope that the Dakhla forum can come out with recommendations consolidating the position of African women.

For her part, Ms. Maja Ivanova, First Lady of the Republic of Macedonia, reviewed the progress made by the Macedonian woman to sit in Parliament and occupy positions of responsibility, adding that they were able to offer important laws in the areas of health, education and promotion of the status of women.

Ms. Boutayna Iraqui Husseini, Director General of Locamed Group, noted that Moroccan women have their particularity in the Arab world, to the extent that moroccan women remains attached to her traditions and identity, while working to ensure success in her professional career, calling for respect for women’s rights in general.

Laila Mayara, President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Africa, presented the progress made by Moroccan women, including the integration of the gender perspective in political and economic fields.

Dakhla, Morocco, a vibrant city full of promises for the rest of Africa.

March 15th, 2015

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The prestigious Crans Montana Forum has brought together since Thursday in Dakhla, the world finest experts and decision makers in the world of politics, economics and finance, to discuss the major issues challenging today’s Africa.
This event was organized under the patronage of King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the theme “Africa, regional cooperation and South-South cooperation,”

Among the elite participants, the President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, former heads of state of Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov, Croatia Ivo Josipovic, Comoros, Abdullah Sambi, Estonia, Arnold Ruutel, and Chile, Ricardo Lagos.

The Prime Ministers of the Dominican Republic Roosevelt Skerrit and Guinea Mohamed Said Fofana, the Deputy Prime Ministers of Portugal Paulo Portas, and Soloman Islands, Douglas Ete.

Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco, also saw the participation of former heads of governments of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, France, Dominique de Villepin, Belgium, Yves Leterme, Romania, Peter Roman, the Republic of Czech Jiri Paroubek, Guinea, Modibo Diarra, and Guinea, Sidya Toure.

Reflecting the importance of this session on Africa and South-South Cooperation, nine foreign ministers came to Morocco to mark the interests of their country for the development of cooperation with Morocco, a major player in this cooperation, just to name a few, Mr Bako Arifari Nassirou (Benin), EL Anrif Said Hassane (Comoros), Robert Dussey (Togo), Charles Fernandez (Antigua and Barbuda), Clarice Modeste Curwen (Granada), Alvar Baptist (St. Lucian), Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (Fiji) , Rimbink Pato (Papouaise New Guinea) and Sato Kilman (Vanuatu).

For the leaders of Crans Montana, this high-level participation demonstrates the success of this meeting in Dakhla saying that “The success of this extraordinary event is unique in the 30-year history of the Forum ,”

The international press is also heavily present to cover this event meeting , with nearly a hundred journalists representing major agencies and television channels, which will certainly leave with memories of a vibrant city like the rest of the Moroccan Sahara. With this unprecedented international influence, the beautiful city of Dakhla has kept all its promises , confirming its status as a “model” and an “example ” of development for Morocco and for all of Africa, as emphasized by the President of Forum Jean-Paul Carteron .

The Africa Atlantic Club has seen the light officially in Dakhla, Morocco

March 15th, 2015

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The Africa Atlantic Club has seen the light officially in Dakhla, during a plenary session of the Crans Montana Forum. The creation of this important club has been a promise that finally saw the light in Morocco.

The club is an exclusive international community that gathers high level authorities and voices that weigh heavily in the political arena, and governments from the African states of the Atlantic side, within an interactive platform that is open towards the rest of the world as well as African counterparts.

In fact, African states on the Atlantic coast represent 46 pc of the African population, concentrate 55 pc of African GDP and achieve 57 pc of the continental trade. The Club sessions will focus on particular regional cooperation in renewable energy , transportation corridors, education networks , public health and fight against epidemics, communication technology, food security, management and development of natural resources, promoting tourism, banking and financial systems.

The goals of the Africa Atlantic Club are taken seriously by the club’s members. According to the laters, they are aware of the striking necessity to integrate the African continent in the global sphere. It’s the reason why the AAC members are willing to be very much directly involved in the economic and social development of their countries, along with the Regional cooperation of Africa’s Atlantic side on issues that represent dangers for the whole of the African Continent.

These dangers, according to the AAC members, include terrorism, crime related to drug trafficking, weapons, piracy and human trafficking, and that the response to these threats requires concerted action, inclusive and supportive, as well as the implementation of comprehensive strategies between Atlantic coastal states “both in terms of vis-à-vis protection of the open sea and the need to control land borders”, adding that the “intelligent” management of fishery resources, the development of production and global marketing of fisheries products are at the heart of strategies for sustainable growth in the region.

AAC members added that the preservation and enhancement of the natural coastal heritage offer great opportunities for the development of responsible tourism industry indicate that the capacity development of African maritime industry “is therefore a matter of survival, even though in regard to energy and mineral natural resources, Africa is the only major deposit in the world on the open sea. ”

The club will hold an annual meeting, Morocco will be its first host, then other African countries and even abroad. During an upcoming session of the Crans Montana Forum in june in Brussels, the club will be present as one of its next activities as stated by Dakhla.

Former French Chief Executive ” We can not forget here in Dakhla the urgent need for political dialogue after 40 years of painful conflict around the Sahara issue,”

March 15th, 2015

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Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was among the participants to the Crans Montana Forum taking place in Dakhla, Morocco. Mr de Villepin talked of the “urgent need” for political dialogue “after 40 years of a painful conflict over the Sahara issue.”, adding that “We can not forget here in Dakhla the urgent need for political dialogue after 40 years of painful conflict around the Sahara issue,”

Mr de Villepin spoke of “An urgent need: to strengthen the dialogue between Africa, North Africa and Europe.” He said that this “is a message forum to deepen the political process, pursue economic development and open up to the world with the help of the United Nations.” “In these times of instability and uncertainty, no one can be satisfied even afford frozen conflicts,” insisted De Villepin.

In the same vein, the former French chief executive said that Morocco “embodies a change and a rare stability in the region, thanks to the constant efforts of HM. King Mohammed VI”.
Mr. De Villepin stressed that Morocco has a responsibility and a special role to play in the consolidation of cooperation and partnership between Africa and Europe, adding that “Because of its history, its openness to Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco can play the role of architect of this joint development,”

While stressing the fact that Morocco has also an economic capacity in this partnership, he recalled that Morocco has been building and developing its companies to radiate towards West Africa in several areas, with an emphasis on the role that can also play France to “revive” the economic relations with the southern Mediterranean.

De Villepin said that “Morocco is a land of hope, a bridge between continents that is subjected to the greatest dangers, a land where moderation and a spirit of dialogue prevail in an environment tempted by violence, ”

on the Europe-Africa-Maghreb axe, De Villepin emphasized that “We need to put our resources together to move forward together based on solid pillars,” while recalling that Europe has taken the initiative to strengthen the dialogue with the southern shore of the Mediterranean. De Villepin concluded by calling for the need to “do more in this direction through concrete projects.” “These projects should go further and be more ambitious in view of establishing a pan-European pole of security and prosperity based on free association, economic integration, tax and regulatory harmonization.”

UN Under-Secretary-General calls the King’s message to the Crans Montana Forum participants “visionary”

March 14th, 2015

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UN Under-Secretary-General Philipe Douste Blazy described as “visionary” the message sent by HM King Mohammed VI to participants in the yearly session of the Crans Montana Forum which opened on Friday in Dakhla.
Douste Blazy, who was spoke at the opening of this session said that several elements in the royal message caught his attention as Morocco’s African policy is based “on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability”.

The UN official said that achieving stability and peace require a solidarity-based globalization. “Over 1.5 billion people worldwide earn less than one dollar per day,” he recalled.
He also said he was glad to take part in the forum which is “a link between the Maghreb, the Atlantic and the Sahel”.

The meeting, held under the patronage of HM the King, is themed “Africa, regional and south-south cooperation”.

Morocco, a champion of resolute, proactive and solidarity-based action for a “new Africa”

March 14th, 2015

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Dakhla Morocco hosted Crans Montana Forum under the theme “Africa, regional and south-south cooperation” from the 12th to the 14th of March. This event witnessed the participation of 800 people among whom high level personalities ranging from heads of states, ministers as well as parliamentarians from 112 countries as well as representatives from different international organizations.

At the opening of this important event, The King of Morocco addressed a royal message to the participants highlighting the fact that the Kingdom of Morocco promotes the African continent and has high hopes for south south cooperation that will forge a “new Africa” adding that 

”This is a most cherished wish, and we shall continue to try and pool efforts to fulfill it”, the King’s message stated that Morocco is drawing on its “African calling as a hub for regional advancement, stability and cultural development” and follows a policy “based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.” “

This policy is no longer the exclusivity of the state and institutional actors but is also “increasingly devised and conducted by private economic operators, with the involvement of civil society organizations.” The aim, insisted the royal message, is “to support sister African nations in their efforts to build strong economies, through the transfer of know-how, human resource training, investment in key sectors of the economy and the pooling of resources.”

Underlining the importance of sub-regional groupings, the King recalled Morocco’s repeated calls for “fresh momentum to be injected into the Arab Maghreb Union, which celebrated its 26th anniversary this year”, noting that the Kingdom has also been a particularly active member of the CEN-SAD, which will hold its next summit in Morocco and is developing closer relations with several other regional groupings in West and Central Africa.

 The King seized the opportunity to welcome the Crans Montana Forum’s initiatives to promote cooperation among African countries bordering the Atlantic, stressing that the establishment on the sidelines of this meeting, of the “Atlantic Africa Club” as an initiative designed to “support development and regional integration in Africa and foster a more proactive policy regarding the Atlantic coast.” 

The King further praised the “African Women’s Forum”, which will serve as a platform for exchange and debate among women participants, as “a fitting opportunity for African women to plead in favor of their full rights and to encourage their active contribution to the development of their respective countries.” 

The royal message also paid tribute to the Crans Montana Forum and its President, Jean-Paul Carteron, for devoting the theme of the Forum’s annual conference to Africa and Africans, as well as ISESCO and its Director General, for having actively contributed to the organization and success of this conference.

following is the full Royal message read out to the participants by the Government Chief, Mr Abdelilah Benkirane:

“Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the current session of the Crans Montana Forum on Africa, which is being held under my high patronage, and which has brought together eminent international figures from various walks of life. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Morocco, particularly in Dakhla, the pearl of Morocco’s southern region. I congratulate you on your choice of theme for the Forum’s meeting. Indeed, the new development model for the Sahara region adopted by Morocco aims to turn this region into a hub between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. In this respect, the city of Dakhla will be at the heart of the future African economic hub, which will be devoted to serving peace and stability in the sub-Saharan region. This new development model is the result of an ambitious policy made possible by a new generation of institutional reforms based on advanced regionalization. Indeed, the Kingdom of Morocco’s ambition is to showcase local specificities, to foster good governance at local level and to devise public policies at regional level that guarantee efficient state action as well as partnerships with local governments. In this respect, the city of Dakhla is destined to become a platform for multi-form exchange relations between the Atlantic region, the Maghreb and the Sahel. Therefore, the presence in Dakhla of participants from all walks of life – representing government, civil society, economic stakeholders… – coupled with the important themes to be discussed by the Forum confirm the pertinence of the choices we have made to make sure Africa embraces solidarity and looks resolutely to the future. I see this as a tribute to the relentless action I have been spearheading in favor of our Continent. Indeed, Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa, an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies. Therefore, I would like, today, to pay a warm tribute to Mr. Jean Paul Carteron, who has successfully drawn on his rich, wide-ranging experience to serve lofty causes through dialogue and sharing. The reasoned, logical decision made by the eminent institution he represents to convene in the Moroccan Sahara will undoubtedly be a factor for success.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The theme “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa”, which you have selected for your conference, is both topical and highly pertinent. It reflects a shared ambition to place Africa at the heart of major global geopolitical concerns. In this regard, the underlying concepts of South-South cooperation should integrate new 21st century perspectives, given the significant impacts of globalization as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Consistent with the same line of thinking, we have been calling for efficient, solidarity-based cooperation that makes the most of the opportunities offered by triangular cooperation, at regional level as well as with the countries of the North. Needless to say, such cooperation must be rooted in mutual esteem, be based on balanced approaches and show that the interests of the various partners concerned are duly taken into account. Having made South-South cooperation one of the pillars of its foreign policy, the Kingdom of Morocco has adopted a proactive policy to develop fruitful partnerships with its European, North American and Asian partners. This is precisely the multidimensional partnership model involving several actors that we need to pursue resolutely in order to achieve greater development in Africa. Our continent bore the brunt of colonization and the Cold War. Sadly, it continues to grapple with the fallout to this day. In Africa, the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict. It is up to us – Africans – to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African societies. Africa is also a continent with many economic, political and cultural fault lines producing multi-faceted crises, at a time when Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration and complementarity to overcome the consequences of the fragmentation Africa was subjected to during the colonial era, and which led to political and ethnic strife. Furthermore, Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues. Alarmingly, new transnational perils – including terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as religious extremism – are on the rise in many parts of our continent. These are major challenges which call for transnational responses and underscore the need for collective and concerted reflection on the security issue. However, one of the reasons for hope, motivation and a firm belief in our common goals is that Africa today is the continent that has the most significant multi-dimensional assets to embody the future of the world. – The African continent has had the fastest growing economy since 2000, over this same period of time, its trade with the rest of the world has increased by more than 200 per cent. – By the year 2050, Africa will have a population of approximately 2 billion people, and our continent will have to harness this tremendous demographic asset properly – particularly African youth – in order to consolidate the continent’s standing in the global economy. – Africa is the continent with the largest potential for natural resources, they should be used to foster sustainable human development for the benefit of African populations. – Africa is also the continent in which democracy and good governance have been developing and reinforced day after day. To this end, Africa should free itself from the shackles of the colonial past, look resolutely to the future, be more self-confident and believe in its own capabilities. Africa needs to develop and support win-win partnerships. It needs to bolster its share in the global wealth creation chain. Africa needs to push forward regional economic integration and develop common areas for shared prosperity that allow for the free movement of goods and people. Africa needs to invest massively in infrastructure and improve the living conditions of African citizens. Africa must also meet tremendous energy needs to support its development agenda successfully. It has huge potential for renewable energy production which should be tapped to promote sustainable development. In this respect, the idea of a project devoted to renewable energy in Africa is especially pertinent, given the vast wind and solar energy production opportunities available in African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Just as pertinent is the need to muster the levers of inter-African cooperation. One of the lessons of history is that economic, political and social interdependence is a prerequisite for progress. That is why we firmly believe in Morocco that isolated development will not succeed.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Morocco has made Africa one of the strategic priorities of its foreign policy. This choice is partly due to geography, since Morocco is part of Africa, but also to history, given its deep, time-honored bonds with Africa, which have shaped Morocco’s African culture and identity. This has naturally reinforced Morocco’s African calling as a hub for regional advancement, stability and cultural development. The various visits I have paid to African countries attest to my firm desire to strengthen cooperation with sister African nations. Those visits have led to concrete projects and many cooperation agreements have been signed in different fields. The Kingdom of Morocco, which has consistently rejected Afro-pessimism, advocates resolute, proactive and solidarity-based action to forge a “new Africa”. This is a most cherished wish, and we shall continue to try and pool efforts to fulfil it. Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights. This policy derives its originality from the fact that state and institutional actors no longer have an exclusive monopoly over it. Quite the contrary, it is increasingly devised and conducted by private economic operators, with the involvement of civil society organizations. Morocco’s action in this respect aims to support sister African nations in their efforts to build strong economies, through the transfer of know-how, human resource training, investment in key sectors of the economy and the pooling of resources. Furthermore, and considering the importance of sub-regional groupings, Morocco has been calling for fresh momentum to be injected into the Arab Maghreb Union, which celebrated its 26th anniversary this year. The Kingdom of Morocco has also been a particularly active member of the CEN-SAD, which will hold its next summit in Morocco. Furthermore, my country has been developing closer relations with several other regional groupings in West and Central Africa. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, We welcome the initiatives undertaken by your Forum to promote cooperation among African countries bordering the Atlantic. The setting up, on the sidelines of this meeting, of the “Atlantic Africa Club” reflects a shared desire to support development and regional integration in Africa and foster a more proactive policy regarding the Atlantic coast. Indeed, for many years, this important dimension of Pan-African action has been neglected. Far from being an obstacle, the Atlantic Ocean is a key element conducive to development, it can be a bridge for fostering more openness, interaction and integration between African countries bordering the Atlantic. Another initiative which deserves to be lauded is the “African Women’s Forum”, which will serve as a platform for exchange and debate among women participants. This will also be a fitting opportunity for African women to plead in favor of their full rights and to encourage their active contribution to the development of their respective countries. Indeed, our continent needs to pool all available resources and energies in order to achieve the desired objectives. In this respect, I have always attached special importance to promoting the status of women and advocated greater participation of women in various political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Gender parity, which is enshrined in the Kingdom’s new Constitution, is a goal we are seeking to achieve. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before concluding, I wish to pay tribute to the Crans Montana Forum and its President, Jean-Paul Carteron, for devoting the theme of the Forum’s annual conference to Africa and Africans. I commend them on their dedicated, untiring efforts over more than three decades to promote closer cultural bonds and coexistence. The Crans Montana Forum will always find in the Kingdom of Morocco the support needed to promote and expand its action to serve the just causes of peace and development. I also wish to commend ISESCO and its Director General, His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, for having actively contributed to the organization of this important event and for their commendable efforts to ensure its success. I wish you a successful conference and a pleasant stay in your second home. Thank you. Wassalamou alaik OR.”

Morocco Denies False Allegations about Alleged Phone Conversation between the King of Morocco and the Nigerian President


March 11th, 2015

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In a statement by the Moroccan Royal Palace, ”Morocco is surprised at the incredible twist given by Nigeria to an alleged phone conversation that never took place between HM King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President,” the King’s Office said on Tuesday.

The King’s Office categorically denies the false allegations made by Nigerian authorities about an alleged phone conversation between the Sovereign and Nigerian President.

A statement by the Moroccan Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation stated that Morocco recalled the Moroccan Ambassador in Nigeria for consultation adding that “Morocco confirms, in the clearest and strongest terms, that there has never been a phone conversation between King Mohammed VI and the president of this country,” the statement said that the reason for declining the call was because of “the hostile, recurrent and unfriendly positions of the Nigerian government with regard to the Moroccan Sahara issue and the sacred Arab-Muslim causes”

The president of Nigeria is trying to use the king of Morocco to win over Muslim voters before Nigeria’s elections this month.

Last week, the Moroccan royal palace said the king had declined a request for a telephone conversation with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

King of Morocco Rejects Request to talk with Nigerian President on the phone

March 8th, 2015

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According to a presse release by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, the Nigerian authorities formally requested a phone conversation between their President and the King of Morocco, who judged it inappropriate on grounds of the upcoming elections in Nigeria. The communique’ said that the Nigerian authorities request for the phone conversation and the sending of a Nigerian envoy to the Kingdom is more of an attempt to gain Muslim votes than a normal diplomatic act.

The press release added that The King of Morocco’s reaction stems from the fact that Nigeria’s elections have been at the heart of the debate on African affairs due to the complexity of the situation on the ground and also because of Nigeria’s positions regarding the sacred national, Arab and Islamic causes.

For the record, Nigeria is one of the strongest allies of neighboring Algeria, South Africa and Venezuela who support the separatist group, the Polisario, who threatens the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco in its southern provinces known as “Western Sahara”.

France and Morocco: a new impetus to the bilateral relations

February 10th, 2015

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Paris, Feb. 09, 2015

King Mohammed VI of Morocco held talks, at The Élysée Palace in Paris, with French President François Hollande.



following is the joint communiqué that was issued during this visit :




French President François Hollande received HM King Mohammed VI at the Elysee Palace.


 During these talks, the two Heads of State discussed all regional and international issues. They underlined the strong exceptional partnership between Morocco and France. They hailed the bilateral agreement concluded on January 31, which set the conditions for more effective judicial cooperation between the two countries.


 The French President and HM King Mohammed VI also stressed the determination of France and Morocco to fight terrorism and fully cooperate in the field of security. In this spirit, an intense exchange of ministerial visits will prepare the next high level meeting between the two governments.


 The two leaders hailed that the conditions are met for a new dynamic of confident and ambitious cooperation between France and Morocco in all fields. “.



On this visit, the French Euro-deputy Rachida Dati said in a statement that 

”This meeting seals the restoration of our legal and judiciary cooperation as wanted by HM the King and the French president,”. Dati commended, on this occasion, the action by the two heads of states which will enable France and Morocco to work together again, particularly to address security challenges adding that this visit takes place.

 “At a time when international terrorism is proliferating, terrorist threats are becoming more mobile and protean, our responsibility is to join hands and share our knowledge, our intelligence and our means for the security of our two peoples,”. The former French Minister of Justice added that France needs Morocco for its security, but also in other areas such as the fight against illegal immigration.



Princess Lalla Meriem echoing Morocco’s religious tolerance in France

February 2nd, 2015

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Morocco is known for the spirit of tolerance and acceptance of other faiths. In this spirit, Princess Lalla Meryem, the sister of the King of Morocco traveled to Paris to Present Royal Wissams to
Representatives of Three Monotheistic Religions. These wissams were awarded by King Mohammed VI to Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions in France.
The ceremony was held at the Arab World Institute in the presence notably of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs
Minister Ahmed Toufiq.refore during which Princess Lalla Meryem decorated Khalil Merroun, rector of Evry mosque, Michel Serfaty, rabbi of Ris-Orangis and Michel Dubost, Evry bishop, with Wissam Al Arch of third
class (officer) at a ceremony.

France and Morocco: reestablishment of legal and judicial cooperation

February 1st, 2015

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A joint French Moroccan communiqué announced, on Saturday January 31, that Morocco and France decided to immediately reestablish their legal and judicial cooperation, and reached an agreement to amend the Convention on Mutual Assistance.

The joint communiqué added that discussions between the governments of both countries have been taking place for several months and were crowned by the signature, in Paris, of this amendement by Minister of Justice and Liberties, Mustapha Ramid, and French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira.

According to the same source, both delegations “discussed in depth the difficulties which led to the suspension of judicial cooperation between France and Morocco. The discussions were held in a very constructive and trustworthy environment”, adding that these discussions “have been guided by the clear guidelines and continued commitment of the two Heads of State, HM King Mohammed VI and HE François Hollande, to put an end to this situation and endeavor to preserve the exceptional partnership that characterizes the relationship between the two countries”.

Both ministers “have agreed on a text amending the Franch-Moroccan Mutual Assistance Convention, which allows for promoting more efficient cooperation between the judicial authorities of the two countries in a sustainable way and strengthening information exchange, in full respect of their legislation, judicial institutions and international commitments”.

This agreement “is an additional contribution to the dense, strong and multidimensional relationship between the two countries,” the same source said, adding that “the two governments will submit it promptly to the domestic ratification procedures of each party”.

The statement concluded that both ministers hailed this result and “decided for the immediate reestablishment of the legal and judicial cooperation between France and Morocco, as well as the return of liaison magistrates,”.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon Promised Morocco’s King UN Neutrality on Western Sahara

January 23rd, 2015

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According to a statement from the Moroccan Royal Palace, King Mohammed VI received a call from the UN Secretary General on Thursday. Ban Ki-Moon thanked the King of Morocco for the active and constructive role the Kingdom plays in support of all UN agenda namely peacekeeping operations, the promotion of human development and the fight against extremism and radicalization. King Mohammed VI assured the Secretary General UN of Morocco’s support for the implementation of the current UN priorities, particularly those relating to the Millennium Development Goals, post 2015 climate change and the consolidation of peacekeeping operations.

Regarding the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, the statement added, the UN Secretary General informed the King that he took into account Morocco’s comments and observations and gave firm assurances as to the neutrality, objectivity and impartiality of the UN officials in charge of conducting the UN facilitation. Ban Ki Moon told the King of Morocco that MINURSO will continue its mission in strict compliance with its current mandate.

The statement concluded that based on the clarifications made and assurances given, His Majesty the King confirmed to Ban Ki Moon Morocco’s commitment to support the facilitation led by the Personal Envoy and full cooperation with the officials designated for this purpose by the Secretary General.

It is worth mentioning in this respect that King Mohammed VI reiterated in a speech to the nation that Morocco has been committed to the UN negotiations, but that “Morocco’s sovereignty over its entire territory is effective, inalienable and non-negotiable,” and that “the autonomy initiative is the maximum Morocco can offer in terms of negotiation to achieve a final solution to this regional conflict.” . What is more, US policy toward the Western Sahara calls for a solution based on autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, and US officials have repeatedly called Morocco’s autonomy plan ”serious, realistic, and credible.

Message of condolences from King Mohammed VI to Pakistan

December 17th, 2014

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent a condolence and sympathy message to Pakistani President, Mamnoon Hussain , following the attack against a school in the city of Peshawar, northwestern Pakistan causing casualties , including children .

The royal message reads as follow:

“I learned with deep sorrow and strong denunciation the sad news of the despicable terrorist attack, which targeted a school in Peshawar taking the lives of mostly innocent children”

The King of Morocco expressed in this message ” strong condemnation of Morocco for this barbaric crime that targeted children in their school ” and Morocco’s total solidarity with the people of Pakistan in this painful tragedy”.

The Global Counter-terrorism Forum holds its inaugural Meeting in Morocco: a focus on Foreign terrorist fighters

December 16th, 2014

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As the world is perplexed by the phenomena of foreign terrorist fighters who join in large numbers terrorist groups, and in an effort to find answers, share experiences and work out solutions to this issue, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) held this Monday, December 15, in Marrakech, Morocco the inaugural meeting of its Working Group on foreign terrorist fighters, co-chaired by Morocco and the Netherlands.

     This meeting which was held at senior officials and experts level, knew the participation of some 40 countries in addition to several international, regional and sub-regional organizations.

    launched in 2011 to promote dialogue and cooperation in the fight against terrorism between its 30 founding members, the GCTF is a political and informal platform.

     The Forum’s activities are divided into six working groups on “” Sahel “”, “” Horn of Africa “”, “” criminal justice and the rule of law “”, “” Detention and Rehabilitation “”, “” struggle against violent extremism “” and “” foreign terrorist fighters “,”.

      Speaking at the opening of the inaugural meeting, the Secretary General of the Moroccan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Nacer Bourita, emphasized that the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters recently took an unprecedented turn as it allows terrorist organizations to acquire not only sophisticated weapons but also fighters of various nationalities, in addition to the ability to change objectives with the ambitions to extend their control over large areas, leading to a serious threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of many countries around the world.

      Mr Bourita also recalled Morocco’s efforts to address this phenomenon through a comprehensive and pragmatic national strategy in an effort to fight terrorism, adding that such a strategy stems from the vision and instructions of King Mohammed VI calling for a realistic approach based on three pillars namely: good security governance, adapting the legal framework for the development of this phenomenon, sustainable human development, in addition to preserving the identity and authentic religious and cultural values of the Kingdom.

      Mr. Bourita noted that any successful approach is still insufficient to treat various complex aspects of terrorism if it does not take into account the causes behind the phenomenon, adding that it is of paramount importance to build a strategic preventive approach in the political, socio-economic, cultural and religious identity.

      The international community, continued Mr Bourita, is called upon to mobilize the necessary resources to support developing countries, particularly in Africa, in their efforts to meet the challenges of socio-economic development, and through actions for solidarity in their fight against poverty.

      The success of any efforts to fight terrorism depends on the willingness of the international community to a close and sincere cooperation between countries based on the recommendations of the “” The Hague – Marrakech Memorandum”" on the fight against foreign terrorist fighters. It also depends on the support of the capabilities of all States to preserve their territorial integrity, national sovereignty and face the separatist tendencies with links to terrorist organizations.

      By co-chairing the working group on foreign terrorist fighters, Morocco demonstrates its commitment to constructive participation in the efforts of the international community to enhance cooperation and coordination at the bilateral, regional and international levels.

For his part, the special envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Ambassador Piet de Klerk, stressed the importance and timeliness of the theme of this working group considering the worrying growth of the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and cross-border nature that requires effective international cooperation.

The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters had emerged in Iraq in the early 2000 and then took an alarming dimension in the current conflict zones, Ambassador de Klerk said, adding that the fight against terrorism inevitably involves concerted international efforts to identify recruitment networks, dismantle and thus halt the departure of foreign fighters to join terrorist organizations in conflict zones.

This struggle involves close international cooperation, a comprehensive and broad approach, and the promotion of good safety practices in accordance with the recommendations of the “The Hague – Marrakech Memorandum” on the fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. After recalling the important work of the GCTF in mobilizing efforts for a global fight against terrorism, De Klerk said that the working group on foreign terrorist fighters’ mission is to deepen the reflection on the fight against this phenomenon, the means to ensure better security cooperation, and emulation of a synergy of efforts on this complex issue.

As a tool to support the implementation of the 2170 and 2178 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, the working group focused its thematic sessions on “the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and international efforts to address them”, “the implementation of The Hague – Marrakech Memorandum on good practices in the fight against foreign terrorist fighters “, as well as on ” the use of GCTF good practices relating to foreign terrorist groups. ”

Participants will also discuss “the role of bilateral partners for the implementation of GCTF good practices”, “The development of the mandate and defining priority areas of GCFT working group on foreign terrorist fighters” and “the review of the work plan and schedule of the working group’s activities on foreign terrorist fighters. ”

Established by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States in September 22, 2011 in New York, the GCTF presents a unique platform for policy makers and experts from key partner states in different parts of the world to share ideas and best practices to block the road to religious extremism and international terrorism that threatens the member states. Besides Morocco, GCTF includes among its 30 members, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Canada, Spain, Australia, India, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Aware of this persistent and critical issue, Morocco and the Netherlands launched in September 2013, an initiative under the auspices of GCTF to tackle the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. The objective of this initiative is to bring together practitioners and policy makers from a range of countries and in various disciplines to share lessons learned, good practices developed and the difficulties encountered in responding to this threat in all its forms.

The good practices contained in the Hague-Marrakech memorandum intends to inform and guide governments as they develop policies, programs and procedures to address the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. These good practices can also be used to define bilateral or multilateral technical support or other assistance for capacity building provided in this area.

This memorandum presents a set of the best practices to address the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters: radicalization leading to violent extremism, recruitment and facilitation, travel and combat, and the return and reintegration.

Culture, a way to promote and celebrate human rights.

November 30th, 2014

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Saturday November 29th was a very busy day for over 6000 participants in the 2nd edition of the world human rights forum taking place in Marakesh, Morocco. Among the debates carried out, was the rights of the elderly.

In recent years, there has been increasing efforts by advocacy groups to promote the rights of the elderly Worldwide. This theme was the focuss of a discussion by a panel of experts during the second human rights forum

The panelists called for more visibility and increased use, by all competent institutions, of human rights standards and long term strategies to address the precarious situation of older people worldwide.

In this context, two Moroccan officials working on the issue of social solidarity and charitable organizations, respectively Abdelmounaim Madani and Mohamed Aît Azizi, talked of the experience of Morocco to deal with this new challenge and the campaings launched by governmental and non governemental organizations to raise awareness of the public about the issue of the rights of the elderly to dignity.

Also, Under the theme, the impact of UCESIF (Union of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions of French-Speaking Countries) on the promotion of fundamental human rights in the countries of union, the President of the Social, Economic and Environmental Council (CESE), Nizar Baraka called on all member states to mobilize and focus their efforts in order to strengthen the outreach of the Social Charter of the Union in order to create an observatory that will benefit all member states.

Mr Baraka also said that the objectives and content of the social charter of the UCESIF conform fully with the perspectives of Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) in preparation and review by the United Nations for the period 2015-2030.

The Secretary General of UCESIF Michel Doucin, told the panel that Morocco played a major role in drafting the charter, and both Tabé Augustin Gbian and Jean-Marie, respectively from Benin and Congo, told their counterparts that the Moroccan experience is a good example to follow by other countries of the continent.

While the Diplomatic counsellor of the French SESE, M. Doucin, called on the member states to apply the charter efficiently for real and concrete results, the Presidnet of the UCESIF, Christos Polyzogopoulos warned against implementing restrictive policies because they result, like was the case in Greece, in recessions and inequalities in wealth in different countries.

This 2nd World Human Rights Forum was an opportunity to sign a cooperation agreement between the EESC and its counterpart from Congo. The UCESIF Social Charter is based on three complementary components namely the enumeration of fundamental rights , economic , social, cultural , political, civil and environmental declination of Fundamental Rights into operational objectives and identification of indicators for monitoring the results of the action.

Human-Rights

Away from the pressures of assessing the progress made since the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, like the events mentioned in the beginning of this article, artistic and cultural events were scheduled at various sites. one of the events was the screening of a documentary to pay tribute to the life of Assia Ouadie, known as mama assia, an exceptional Moroccan lady who devoted her life to fight injustice and to stand along victims of human rights.  This celebration took place with members of her family and close friends.

November 29th which coincides with the international day of solidarity with Palestine, a campaign untitled “”Building Solidarity for Palestinian Refugees”", was initiated by the UNRWA, with an exhibition of a giant poster on the famous building of the poste of Gueliz.

Other cultural events including the screening of a film by Khaled Jarrar with the presence of the former Palestinian minister of culture, Yahya Yakhlef, followed by a musical performance by the Joubran trio.

Was scheduled also an argentinian music concert of the “”Grupo Tonolec”", in addition to a dance performance by “”Bailarina de Tango y folclore”". One the the cultural themes was the abolition of the death penalty and Amnesty Morocco presented a play on the ” abolition of death penalty” in addition to other thematic cultural activities among which “”The scream of the slaves”".

To commemorate this important global event, the moroccan postal service issued a stamp and presented an exhibition.

Royal message to the the 2nd World Forum on Human Rights

November 29th, 2014

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King Mohammed VI addressed, this Thursday, a message to the participants in the 2nd World Forum on Human Rights, held in Marrakech on November 27-30.

Here follows the full text of the Royal message read out by Justice and Liberties Minister, Mustapha Ramid:

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to send this message to the World Human Rights Forum, which has assembled thousands of human rights advocates from all continents. Their lofty struggle to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms has earned them my greatest respect. I should like to say how proud we are in the Kingdom of Morocco to host this Second World Human Rights Forum in Marrakesh, the city of dialogue, diversity and fruitful interaction between cultures and civilizations. I see in this a tribute not only to Morocco, but to our African continent as well.

I commend the Republic of Brazil for deciding, in December 2013, to launch this new dynamic which supplements regional and global social forums. I also thank the Republic of Argentina, which was initially going to host this Second Forum, but which together with Brazil supported Morocco’s candidature instead. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, This gathering of human rights advocates is all the more significant as it is being held at a time when major changes and global challenges underscore the need for holistic, well thought-out and concerted responses.

Profound changes are affecting the international human rights order. By embracing universal human rights values, the countries of the South, civil society and national human rights institutions play an active role in the process of setting up regional and international instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights. Domestic legal systems have been progressively enriched through the adoption of constitutional texts that reinforce guarantees regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms. At the same time, new challenges which call for an urgent response on our part have emerged. In this regard, your forum provides a unique opportunity for debate and exchange of views on new human rights issues.

This clearly attests to the relevance of the topics you have chosen for the Forum, they highlight the evolution of international human rights law since the adoption of the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The international human rights agenda has also witnessed far-reaching changes. Whereas first and second’ generation human rights still enjoy a prominent position, it must be acknowledged that new areas of interest have emerged, such as the protection of the rights of the elderly, human rights in the digital age, human rights and the corporate sector, the legal empowerment of the poor and the enforceability of economic and social rights. As you know, since the Vienna Conference, human rights have gained in importance, becoming a key variable not only in the life of nations but also in international relations.

However, there have been some deviations in connection with this growing universality, which must also rise to unprecedented challenges. In many parts of the world, reclusiveness, intolerance, rejection of others -because of ethnic considerations or a distorted understanding of the lofty message of religion – are leading to blatant violations of fundamental rights, including the sacred right to life. I wish to express my solidarity with and compassion for the victims of these pathologies and would like to call on the international community to be more actively supportive of victims.

The universal character of human rights must not be questioned. Rather than being the product of a single school of thought or doctrine, universality should, in its very essence, be the result of a progressive, dynamic process whereby values are embraced at individual and collective levels. In this process, national and cultural traditions should be allowed to find their rightful place around a set of immutable values, not in opposition to it or next to it. Indeed, universal values acquire greater legitimacy when they represent and protect human diversity, and when all peoples and cultures contribute to shaping them, ultimately considering them as their own.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Countries in the developing world – particularly in Africa – want to play a part in determining human rights standards. They no longer want to remain a subject for debate and assessment, or to be a field of experimentation. It is a historical fact that international human rights instruments were developed in the absence of Africa. When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, there were only four independent African countries. When the 1966 International Covenants were adopted, there were only about 30 African countries which had freed themselves from the colonial yoke.

Since it did not have the opportunity to contribute to developing the international human rights law, Africa should be given the opportunity to enrich it with its own culture, history and genius, thus increasing the continent’s chances to fully embrace it. Africa cannot remain a mere consumer’ of international standards devised in its absence. Africa can no longer be the invariable object of international reports and external evaluations. Our continent has become mature enough to claim its rightful place in the global human rights architecture and to fully play its role in it. Universal values are common to us all, but the pathways we take are not.

This is the motto of a responsible Africa which is fully committed to human rights, a continent that can no longer remain the eternal subject for human rights debates. Africa wants to be heard, it wants to make a contribution to devising standards that are truly universal. Our continent does not want to be kept on the sidelines when it comes to human rights, which concern Africa too. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, This Forum is being held on the eve of important international events in which a comprehensive, non-selective approach to human rights can be a significant contribution. There are many important meetings and events in the pipeline.

I would like to share a few ideas on three issues with the human rights advocates who are attending this Forum. The first one concerns gender equality issues, which have been enshrined in our Basic Law since the constitutional reform of July 2011. Twenty years ago, in 1995, the 189 Member States of the United Nations adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for mainstreaming gender perspectives in the policies, strategies and programs of all countries. The Declaration called on Member States to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women. It reaffirmed that the human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights.

Twenty years later, the data available and the daily lives of women and girls in many parts of the world attest to the magnitude of the reluctance to achieve the goals set out in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Despite the progress made, results still fall well short of the afore-mentioned ambitious goals. As you know, a participatory process to assess accomplishments since the Beijing Conference and the challenges lying ahead is under way at national, regional and international levels, in preparation for the Summit of Heads of State, to be organized by the United Nations in September 2015. We are pleased, in this respect, that the Marrakesh Forum has chosen the issue of gender equality as one of the main topics on the agenda.

I am sure your debate at the Forum will be a significant contribution to the international process under way. My country has made this question one of the pillars of its public policies, promoting, to this end, gender budgeting, which is recognized by the United Nations as a pioneering approach. We realize, however, that there is still much to do. A law on domestic workers, which mainly concerns girls, is currently under discussion in Parliament. The Government is also working on legislation to fight violence against women. Similarly, an Authority for parity and the fight against all forms of discrimination – which is provided for in the Constitution – is expected to be set up soon.

The second major issue concerns the post-2015 development goals. At the end of the Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000, the 189 Member States of the United Nations adopted the Millennium Declaration, which set out the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These MDGs reflected the desire of the international community to commit to reducing poverty by half, ensuring primary education for all, promoting gender equality and empowering women by 2015. Since then, and thanks to the various Summits held on development, numerous measures have been advocated to build on the progress made and carry the Millennium Development Goals beyond 2015.

Some reference documents, such as “Realizing the Future We Want for All” and “A Life of Dignity for All” have been prepared and consultation mechanisms for defining the post-2015 agenda have also been set up. The international community has decided in this respect that the September 2015 Session of the General Assembly will give concrete substance to this process through the adoption of a new agenda that includes Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I am pleased to note that several thematic conferences, being held as part of this Forum, reflect the concerns expressed by civil society, UN agencies and the experts involved in the evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals and the preparation of new Sustainable Development Goals.

The Kingdom of Morocco supports efforts aimed at putting human rights at the heart of those new objectives. This calls for greater involvement in the various regional and international meetings and events scheduled from now until September 2015. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The third issue concerns international migration and asylum seekers. With 240 million international migrants in 2012, migration is a constant concern which is being debated around the world today and which involves governments, civil society and the international community. Controversial approaches persist and are even gaining in scope at a time when the 2009 United Nations Development Programme Report stressed the key role being played by human mobility in promoting human development. Not only have South-South migration flows increased, but there has also been a feminization of these flows.
Moreover, sophisticated networks specialized in human trafficking have emerged, the profile of migrants and refugees has become more diverse, their socio-cultural conditions have improved and, finally, there are now minors among the migrants. Civil wars force millions of people into exile, and most of the time – as is the case with our Syrian brothers – they have been taken in by neighboring countries. These new refugees have joined Palestinian refugees, whose ordeal has lasted for decades.
In many countries, migrants and their descendants are increasingly being rejected due to the influence of radical political groups. In all societies across the world, there are serious living together’ issues. Keeping in mind those developments, it should be pointed out that the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families – which is the main human rights instrument in this area has, until this day, been signed and ratified only by countries of the South. In this respect, my country has decided to implement a new migration policy, based on a humane approach which is consistent with our Constitution and our international commitments. An exceptional regularization program was started in January 2014 and should be completed by the end of December. It aims to regularize the situation of all those who meet the necessary conditions.

I call on the international community to resume negotiations more actively with a view to achieving regional and international governance of migration issues, in accordance with the High-Level Dialogue initiated by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The African Alliance for Migration and Development I launched in September 2013 is a contribution to that endeavor.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Kingdom of Morocco is proud to host this global event and to contribute to fulfilling an ambition which is shared not only by our continent but also by all developing countries, namely to become full-fledged players in the development of human rights standards and assessments. My country freely chose to initiate in-depth, proactive reforms which fulfil the aspirations and expectations of Moroccans. This innovative, inclusive process, which culminated in the adoption of a new Constitution in 2011, has helped consolidate the rule of law and democracy as an irreversible choice.

Morocco, which has been proceeding confidently and serenely along the never-ending road of human rights, can, after 15 years, present quite a decent record covering such vital areas as transitional justice, women’s rights, human development, the rehabilitation of the Amazigh culture as a key component of the Moroccan identity, the consolidation of national human rights institutions and the governance of the religious domain on the basis of the tolerant principles and teachings of Islam. There are other ongoing projects with a significant impact on the protection of human rights in such areas as justice, the press, civil society, local governance and the protection of vulnerable groups.

Honoring the commitments enshrined in its founding Charter, the Kingdom of Morocco is working untiringly to strengthen the conventional practice it has opted for. Thus, after its accession to the main human rights instruments, my country has gradually lifted reservations it had when it ratified those instruments. Today, the Kingdom is consolidating this irreversible decision to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights. In this respect, earlier this week, the Kingdom of Morocco deposited its instruments of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as a prelude to setting up, in the coming months, a National Preventive Mechanism. Morocco will thus become one of thirty countries to have such a mechanism.

I commend the debate on the death penalty, which is being led by civil society organizations, a large number of parliamentarians and legal experts. I am sure it will help deepen the debate on this question. The protection of children’s rights against all sorts of abuse and violation is a constant concern for me, as evidenced by the support I have been giving to the action of the National Observatory on children’s rights. The Kingdom has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The constitutional protection of children has also been a watershed event in the process of consolidating national legislation on child protection.
In keeping with this trend, we intend to ratify the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes a communications procedure. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Allow me, once again, to welcome you to Morocco. I am convinced your discussions, your debates and your daily work for the promotion of human rights – all human rights, for everyone, everywhere – will contribute significantly to the emergence of a safer world for humanity a world which treats the most vulnerable and poorest segments of society more fairly and equitably, and which is committed to promoting brotherly relations between all human beings. Thank you. Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarkatuh.

Morocco, a model in the Maghreb, Africa and the Arab world for promoting human rights

November 28th, 2014

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Morocco’s hosting of the second edition of the World Forum of Human Rights triggered a positive reaction from all over the world. In Europe, Dr Jean-Marie HEYDT, President of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council of Europe’s Lisbon North-South Centre, said that holding the 2nd edition of this forum is very important in many ways, because it is taking place in an African country, like Morocco that made phenomenal progress both economically and in the field of human development, “including the position of women in the participation process.”

Dr Heydt added that The Council of Europe is convinced of the will of all Moroccans to participate in this phenomenal progress thanks to the commitment of King Mohammed VI.

In the same context, the European parliamentarian and President of the EU-Morocco friendship Group, Gilles Pargneaux, said that Morocco displays an ” exemplary attitude “” in defending human rights, in the past years, thanks to the commitment of King Mohammed VI.

Mr Pargneaux added that because of the Leadership of the King of Morocco, the country has become the model in the region Of the Magreb, in Africa and the Arab World.

For the Europen Parliamentarian, Morocco is a ‘ democratic model of stability ” ,” with its new constitution, political pluralism and its institutions. On the Forum, Mr Pargneaux said the exchange between the Participants is a rare opportunity to assess and build a strong culture of human rights around the world.

M. Mohamed Vall Alghadi, president of “Memory and Justice”, who is taking part in this forum said that he was impressed by the strong participation of key human rights activists worldwide, adding that
” This is the best tribute we can pay to a country like Morocco which is a model in the region “. “Memory and Justice”, one of the most active and internationally credible Mauritanian NGO, paid tribute to Morocco for having developed ” a strong base ” in the protection and defense of human rights.

Another NGO, “Action for Peace and Development in the Great Lakes region”, congratulated Morocco for undergoing impressive reforms and for hosting this important forum.

The president of the same NGO Mr. Maurice Katala, said that Morocco is now “” an example to follow “” in the promotion and protection of human rights , including the rights of foreigners and migrants.”

Morocco’s hosting of the second Human Rights Forum is an evidence of growing cooperation with the UN mechanisms to protect human rights

November 27th, 2014

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Nov 26, 2014 –

The second Human Rights Forum will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, From the 27th to the 30th of November under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI. This Forum, a first for the African continent, confirms the ambition of the Kingdom of Morocco, which is undergoing deep reforms, for the promotion of human rights.

This Event will also be an opportunity for Morocco to reiterate, once again, its pride to be part of the African Continent and its willingness to draw upon its experience, expertise and know-how in the defense and promotion of human rights, individual and collective freedoms.

This meeting will be a platform for Morocco to be a major player in the global debate on human rights, as an active actor and a credible partner. The Kingdom of Morocco’s achievements in the field of human rights and the dynamics of its institutions dedicated to this question is a model in the Arab world and the African continent.

Mahjoub El Hiba, the government interdepartmental delegate for human rights said that the second Human Rights Forum will assess the progress made since the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.



Mr El Hiba added that this event will also discuss new issues that have emerged after the Vienna Conference among which the linkage between human rights and matters relating to enterprise, sanitation, water, environment, new technologies and terrorism.

 The Forum will make a series of recommendations and proposals aiming at enhancing the UN human rights system, improving international cooperation and promoting best practices in the field of human rights, said the Moroccan official. 



On the same occasion, El Hiba highlighted Morocco’s achievements in terms of human rights and the rule of law, recalling that Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammmed VI, was one of the few countries in the region, if not the only one, to have had the courage to examine past rights violations.



The Moroccan Ambassador to the UN also said that the holding of this second edition of the World Human Rights Forum is in itself an international recognition of the Kingdom’s human rights achievements adding that the Kingdom will spare no effort to ensure the success of this global event and defend the principles endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. The Moroccan diplomat highlighted the key role civil society plays in promoting and protecting human rights in the sense that they ensure monitoring of human rights on the ground.

 This human rights dimension of the civil society was enshrined in the 2011 constitution, recalled Ambassador Hilal.

The second World Human Rights Forum will bring together more than 5,000 participants from 94 countries including decision makers and NGO representatives.




King Mohammed VI’s official visit to China postponed

November 25th, 2014

Due to a seasonal flue which makes it hard to travel or attend any ceremonies, the King of Morocco will postpone his important visit to China, according to a communique’ from the Moroccan Palace. This official visit was due to start November 27.

The King’s personal physician stated that Mohammed VI caught acute influenza virus making it impossible for the King to either travel or participate at any festivities.
  
The same source added that a meeting between the King and the South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won which was scheduled this Tuesday, at the Royal Palace in Fez, as well as the launching ceremony of the M’daz dam, have also been cancelled for the same reasons.

We wish King Mohammed VI a speedy recovery.

The King of Morocco honored in China

November 24th, 2014

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According to a press release from the Moroccan Royal Palace, King Mohammed VI will make an official visit to the People’s Republic of China from Thursday November 27, 2014 at the invitation of His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China,
  
During this Royal Tour, the King of Morocco will have official talks with His Excellency Xi Jinping. The same source also announced that the two heads of state will preside over the signing ceremony of bilateral agreements and an official dinner will be held in honor of King Mohammed VI and the delegation accompanying him.

The King of Morocco praised for his leadership role in South-South cooperation as the 2014 GES wrapps up

November 21st, 2014

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Launched in 2009 by US President Barack Obama, the GES has become a rendezvous of young leaders and entrepreneurs around the world. 3,000 entrepreneurs, heads of state, senior government officials and young entrepreneurs from around the world gathered in Marrakech, to take part in the 5th edition of GES-2014, a Major global event held for the first time in an Arab-African country.

Today, as Africa has the potential to jump from being the worlds’ electricity laggard to a leader is renewable, the chief executive of the Moroccan Agency for the Solar Energy (Masen) Mustapha Bakkoury, proved that this can be done. He presented to the participants the Moroccan Solar Plan, which aims at becoming the biggest project of its kind in the world and can therefore be used as a model for the rest of the continent.

Morocco has decided to engage in this project through a control approach over its energy future, Bakkoury said that this choice was also dictated by the need to master the country’s energy needs .

Moroccan strategy in the subject, he said, was well supported by all of Moroccan society, adding that solar energy project will meet the tangible needs of Morocco in terms of electricity.

From renewable energy to education, Akon, the American-Senegalese R&B and hip hop recording artist, songwriter and record producer expressed to the Moroccan Press agency after his visit to a university how impressed he was by the achievements of Morocco in the educational field.

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The renowned artist took part in the GES and said that he admires Morocco for all the efforts the country has invested in education. His statement came after he visited a university pilot project for a training program to launch sustainable businesses. Akon believes that this can ” inspire African countries’. ”

” I really think that Morocco is a model in Africa ‘, “said the famous artist, known for his commitment to social action through his foundation that works to improve the living conditions of the poor through job creation.

Akon said that he was pleased to see African women heavily involved, as evidenced by their achievements in entrepreneurship and job generation.

Indeed, the fifth edition of GES paid tribute to women entrepreneurs, through the ” Women’s Entrepreneurship Day “. Hundreds of women entrepreneurs from more than fifty countries met to reflect on how to efficiently promote women’s entrepreneurship.

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Ms. Barbabra Rwodzi, founder and CEO of the Zimbabwe Barrué Knitwear company, specializing in the textile sector said that this 5th edition of the GES will mark a new beginning for a better integration of African women in the business, telling the Moroccan Press Agency that “” our future as business women starts here in Marrakech. ‘”

Ms Rwodzi called on African countries to provide more support to women in the field of entrepreneurship, adding that she wishes to express her admiration for the progress of Moroccan women in business who could defy all odds through the support of the Moroccan government and thanks to their courage, intelligence and perseverance, calling the Moroccan business Women “” true superstars “”whose career can be a model of success.

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Another business woman, Maria Contreras-Sweet, gave an interview to the Moroccan Press Agency on her quality of the 24th current Administrator of the Small business Administration. The US official stressed the importance of the Kingdom of Morocco as a gateway to Africa and in promoting South-South cooperation, but also the role Morocco plays between African countries and the United States of America. The US Official said to be, ” very pleased ” that Morocco decided to host this important world summit aiming at exchanging and transmitting values and entrepreneurial ideas.

Ms Contreras-Sweet highlighted the importance and contribution of small and medium enterprises in the economic recovery of any country, stating that two-thirds of jobs are being created in the United States by SMEs and much of the world economic growth is attributable to these companies.

For entrepreneurs and SMEs to have access to finance, discussions on ” innovations in financing entrepreneurship ” took place between representatives of credit institutions active within Morocco and abroad on how to enable entrepreneurs to obtain funding based on a different types of investors be it early stages or for international deployment. They all agreed that entrepreneurs’ main guarantee is a credible and viable project as their primary collateral for access to sources of financing, including bank loans.

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Tariq Sijilmassi, CEO of Crédit Agricole delivered the three keys to ensure access to finance, “” Designing a good viable project, developing accessibility and the bridge between the entrepreneur and the financial system, and developing tools for credit adapted to the needs of the entrepreneur “. Sijilmassi considers that ” the best guarantee is the quality of the project “,” calling on banks to act as real financial institutions and not as a mortgage “.

In his view, financial institutions must not exclude people simply because they do not have the kind of classic warranty, arguing that if entrepreneurs carry good projects, “banks should develop products that meet the specific needs of entrepreneurs”. In this regard, Sijilmassi gave his bank, Credit Agricole, as an example because it ” has a range of products ranging from micro-credit and other credit forms with adequate rate”.

Sijilmassi concluded that Morocco is an example of success in Africa, given the mechanisms developed as well as the fact that the Central Bank is in the process of promoting interesting mechanisms for SMEs .

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For his part, Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Moroccan Financial Board, said that there is an urgent need to develop specific funding in Africa mainly for seed capital and growth, to help entrepreneurs contribute in the development of their countries and also of the continent.

Ibrahimi also put forward, in this sense, the ambition of Casablanca Finance City (CFC) as an active institution to help create companies and bring talent, while ensuring their access to capital funding and by providing a platform that offers diverse investment opportunities in Africa.

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Issam Cheleuh, founder of Impact Group Africa (Mali), called for the implementation of the concept of ” impact investments ” meaning to put funds in companies, agencies in order to produce a measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial performance.

For the American Chonchol Gupta, CEO and founder of Rebirth Financial Inc, argued that financing SMEs should not be considered as a risky activity, citing the performance of his group with “” Zero Defect “”. He recognizes, however, that financial commitments of the US group had so far been limited to existing companies active in the field of services, with criteria for granting loans based on the profile and history of these structures.

Besides promoting credible and bankable projects, Ivorian Eric Kacou, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneurial Sollutions Partners, emphasized the relevance of setting up funds to even help contractors, while providing training tools to bring together investors and entrepreneurs.

In an interview to the Moroccan Press Agency, Ethiopian entrepreneur in the agribusiness sector Endigu Legesse, praised Morocco as a country that can make a valuable contribution to drive Africa toward progress and prosperity. The Ethiopian business man added that “Thanks to the enormous progress it has made particularly in the fields of finance and new information technologies, Morocco, with its extensive expertise, can provide valuable support to achieve the objectives of development in many African countries, including in Ethiopia.

Mr. Legesse told MAP that the global summit was a ” great success in that it allowed people from diverse backgrounds from around the world to engage in fruitful exchanges and networking in order to strengthen investment and promote entrepreneurship skills particularly among young people “.

He also said to have been ” pleasantly surprised by the remarkable progress made by Morocco as an African country which is a source of pride and inspiration for other African nations who aspire to move forward on the path of economic development”, adding that ” during this summit, I have see through the various panels opportunities to strengthen economic and trade exchanges between Morocco and Ethiopia “,” including agriculture, industry and new information technologies and financial services”.

The Ethiopian business man said that his country has a huge potential especially in the agricultural sector with economic opportunities which can use the experience of Morocco, adding that ” together we can make a large contribution to a mutually beneficial partnership.” concluding that several cultural and historical factors argue in favor of the consolidation of these exchanges for the benefit not only of the peoples of both countries, but also for the entire African continent.

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King Mohammed VI: Morocco “proud” that GES summit is held for the first time in Africa

November 20th, 2014

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In a message to the participants of the 2014 GES Summit taking place in Marrakech, the King of Morocco said that his country is proud that the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is held for the first time in the African continent. “We are proud that this Summit, which was launched in 2009 by President Barack Obama, is being held for the first time on African soil, thereby confirming the calling and ambition of the Kingdom, for which the promotion of its partnership with the African Continent is a well thought-out, irreversible choice”.

The King pointed out to the fact that “in keeping with its core values and basic principles, Morocco believes wholeheartedly in the Summit’s objectives,” adding that the Kingdom of Morocco “has been devoting its energies to promoting human and sustainable development and investing in entrepreneurship.”

Morocco’s active role in promoting south-south cooperation is substantial. for this reason, the King said that “My country also encourages the sharing of expertise and know-how in addition to the optimization of complementarities, particularly between the countries of the South”

The Royal message was a call to all African governments to “instill self-confidence in our young people so that they can believe in their ability to learn and to become entrepreneurs”, calling also for the need to “nurture positive examples and turn success stories into models to emulate.”

Mohammed VI added that “We must not confuse technological innovation with technical sophistication”, believing that “the so-called low-tech innovations – just like more sophisticated technologies – can help us meet specific needs, especially in developing countries.”

The King of Morocco pointed out as well that “innovations of this kind are often helpful in terms of supporting social development and improving the well-being of the population”, focussing on the fact that “innovation must not be the exclusive privilege of the rich and the upper classes.”

King Mohammed VI went on saying that “Entrepreneurs may also want to turn their attention to low-income consumers, by offering them products and services that are both profitable and tailored to their needs”, just like the telecommunications sector in Africa in which “through ingenuity and local innovation, specific services and innovative applications have been developed, to the great satisfaction of users.”

King Mohammed VI lauded entrepreneurs as “people who challenge the established order and the status quo. They do not hesitate to respond – at their own level – to needs that are yet to be identified, that are unmet or that are new.” He called entrepreneurship and innovation “springboards for freedom, social mobility and prosperity.”

The royal message concluded by congratulating “all those who have helped make new interactions possible, here in Marrakech today, between policy makers, economic operators, civil society, academics and the media” and expressed satisfaction that the encounter “has brought together a large number of project developers, investors and young entrepreneurs from various backgrounds.”

following is the full message addressed by King Mohammed VI to the official opening session of the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit(Marrakech GES 2014):

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon 
the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Distinguished Heads of State,
The Honorable Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States of America,
Honorable Ministers,
Distinguished economic operators and civil society representatives,
Your Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you all to the Kingdom of Morocco. I also wish to commend the decision to hold this Fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit here in Marrakech.

Founded almost a thousand years ago, this city has, for centuries, nurtured creativity, innovation and progress and played a key role in their mutually beneficial transmission to the Saharan, Arab, Muslim and, finally, European worlds. The Atlantic ports nearby showed a keen interest in the New World at a very early stage.
We are proud that this Summit, which was launched in 2009 by President Barack Obama, is being held for the first time on African soil, thereby confirming the calling and ambition of the Kingdom, for which the promotion of its partnership with the African Continent is a well thought-out, irreversible choice.
In keeping with its core values and basic principles, Morocco believes wholeheartedly in the Summit’s objectives. It has been devoting its energies to promoting human and sustainable development and investing in entrepreneurship. My country also encourages the sharing of expertise and know-how in addition to the optimization of complementarities, particularly between the countries of the South.

Your Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

One is not born an entrepreneur; one becomes an entrepreneur by embarking on the road to success in an interactive process involving hard work, learning and a capacity to deal with challenges.

Entrepreneurs are people who challenge the established order and the status quo. They do not hesitate to respond – at their own level – to needs that are yet to be identified, that are unmet or that are new.

Entrepreneurship and innovation are twin values; they are both springboards for freedom, social mobility and prosperity, provided the business environment is favorable and the required conditions are met.

Education is an essential step, a prerequisite for the maturation process that leads people to think critically and to hone their skills so that they are able to seize an economic, technological or social opportunity when they see one.

Therefore, it is up to us to provide future generations with an education that goes beyond the mere ‘accumulation-transmission’ process in order to develop creativity, responsiveness and inventiveness.

Today, young people have a window open onto the world thanks to new information and communication technology, which makes universal knowledge – both theoretical and applied – an asset shared by all humans.

Therefore, I should like to commend and encourage the repositories of knowledge – be they individuals or institutions – that supply our young people, who are eager for personal progress, with knowledge and contents that are accessible to all.

They contribute to making knowledge shared online a global social ladder that offers invaluable tools and information for innovation and entrepreneurship to those who were once deprived of them.

In an environment where modern means of communication are sometimes perverted to serve reprehensible causes – such as religious radicalization or the promotion of deviant ideologies – it is important to harness and develop those means for the benefit of positive emulation and citizens’ initiatives, through closer cooperation with civil society.

Your Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Every nation, culture and community can find in itself motivations for confidence in the future, which is essential to entrepreneurship. I can personally attest that these universal virtues are epitomized by Islam, which champions an optimistic vision of life.

Our religion does not object to profit. On the contrary, it encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, personal fulfillment and promotion based on merit. Better still, the institution of the waqf (endowment) is an original form of entrepreneurship, which is rooted in our tradition of inter-generational solidarity.

To overcome the pessimism that has plagued our continent, our governments should instill self-confidence in our young people so that they can believe in their ability to learn and to become entrepreneurs. To this end, we need to nurture positive examples and turn success stories into models to emulate.
The same applies to female entrepreneurship, which holds so much promise for our economies and our societies that we all need to encourage it; otherwise, we will be depriving ourselves of a huge potential.

The entrepreneurial society we look forward to should also ensure equal opportunities for all by inspiring and encouraging women and young people to become entrepreneurs. Their role in this ecosystem would be more effectively valued as a powerhouse of proposals and actions to boost inclusive growth and employment.

Your Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We must not confuse technological innovation with technical sophistication. The so-called low-tech innovations – just like more sophisticated technologies – can help us meet specific needs, especially in developing countries.
Innovations of this kind are often helpful in terms of supporting social development and improving the well-being of the population.

It goes without saying that innovation must not be the exclusive privilege of the rich and the upper classes. Entrepreneurs may also want to turn their attention to low-income consumers, by offering them products and services that are both profitable and tailored to their needs.
The telecommunications sector in Africa is a case in point. Through ingenuity and local innovation, specific services and innovative applications have been developed, to the great satisfaction of users.

Your Excellencies, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As evidenced by the success of the Summits held over the last five years, it is through the exchange of best practices and expertise and the sharing of funding mechanisms and project development approaches that we can achieve collective wealth, since Knowledge is the only resource whose value increases when it is shared.
I would like to congratulate all those who have helped make new interactions possible, here in Marrakech today, between policy makers, economic operators, civil society, academics and the media.

I am particularly pleased to note that this Summit has brought together a large number of project developers, investors and young entrepreneurs from various backgrounds.

In this respect, the “Innovation Village”, set up on the sidelines of the Summit as a dynamic, interactive space, offers young entrepreneurs an ideal platform to present their new ideas and creative projects, and also to share their entrepreneurial experiences.

I wish them every success in their endeavors towards ensuring a better future for us all, in a fair, solidarity-based world.
Thank you.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Message of the King of Morocco today: Territorial integrity of Morocco is never negotiable

November 6th, 2014

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November 6th of each year is a day for the King and the people of Morocco to recall the sacrifices the country made to regain fully its territorial integrity. This year coincides with the 39th anniversary of the Green March, which is but a step for Morocco to regain its southern part from the Spanish occupation.

The King delivered a clear speech setting, therefore, a new tone for Moroccan foreign policy to defend the territorial integrity of Morocco, particularly when it comes to the ‘Western Sahara’. This fabricated issue by the ennemies of Morocco is every Moroccan’s issue, adding that it “western Sahara” is and will remain part of Morocco “until the end of time.”

“Morocco will remain in its Sahara, and the Sahara will remain part of Morocco, until the end of time,” he added. “The Sahara is not an issue for Saharan people only. The Sahara is the cause of all Moroccans. As I said in an earlier speech: the Sahara is a crucial, existential issue, not just a question about borders,”.

“In addition to the lives given for the Sahara, Moroccans have made other forms of sacrifice – moral and material – for the development of the southern provinces, sharing whatever they had with their brothers and sisters in the south,” the King added.

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The speech was a recollection of facts on how bad the situation prevailed in the Southern Provinces when Spain gave it back to Morocco in 1975, compared to the economic and infrastructure levels in the region today.

“It is a fact that what is produced in the Sahara is not even enough to meet the basic needs of its population. Let me say this, in all sincerity: Moroccans have borne the cost of developing the southern provinces. They have paid out of their own pockets and given from the earnings intended for their children so that their brothers in the south may lead a dignified life as humans,” the King addressed Algeria and those who fabricate the claims that Morocco is exploiting natural resources of the region.

“Since we recovered the Sahara, for every single dirham of revenue from the Sahara, the state invests 7 dirhams there, as part of the solidarity between the regions and between the sons and daughters of the nation.”

The King also added that “Today indicators are much higher in the southern provinces than the national average. Therefore, let me say this, loud and clear: stop spreading false allegations that Morocco is exploiting the region’s wealth,”

The speech should be a wake up call to Algeria who pretends not to have any hand in this fabricated issue and for the polisario who should choose what is best for themselves by adopting the autonomy plan and stop provocation and fabrications that hurt their own families in both the southern provinces and the Tindouf camps.

Lessons to learn from the King of Morocco’s speech at the 69th UN General Assembly

September 27th, 2014

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King Mohammed VI speech for the 69th UN General Assembly in NY can be considered as a roadmap for the West’s approach in Africa and other parts of the underdeveloped world.

The King of Morocco called for the respect of the will of each country to build its own model of development according to the needs and the aspirations of its own people. “Each country has its own path according to its historical development, its civilizational heritage and its human and natural resources, in addition to its political peculiarities and economic choices and the pitfalls and the challenges it has to face”
 
His Majesty’s speech was based on Morocco’s own experience and successful implementation of its strategies and visions to make of the Kingdom a successful model. this however, added the King, is no parameter to judge the effectiveness of any other model, just as it should be NO comparison between countries regardless of the historic, social similarities even if these counties happen to be in same geographical area.
 
The King of Morocco’s speech is supposed to a wake up call to all those institutions that rate and rank countries according to the parameters currently in effect. These parameters, the King added, raise many questions and whatever aid destined for them does not lead to real solutions. These criteria have shown their limits and often their conflict with the reality of the underdeveloped and poor countries as well as their inability to present an objective image of the level of human development in the countries foreign aid is supposed to help.

The King demonstrated that South South cooperation is possible and it is working by giving examples from his numerous visits to Africa and all the successful projects undergoing in different parts of Africa based on the real needs of the people not according to criteria made away from the ground.

Casablanca witnesses the launching of the Region’s development plan (2015-2020)

September 26th, 2014

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Today Friday September 26, 2014, Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, witnessed the launching of the Great Casablanca region development plan (2015-2020).

Following the King of Morocco’s efforts to make of Morocco a model for security and stability in the region, and build a genuine international financial hub, as well as to improve the living condition of all Moroccans and preserve the environment and identity of the Kingdom, Great Casablanca region will be endowed with an integrated, balanced and inclusive program, designed according to a participative approach involving all the region’s various stakeholders, just like the case of Marrakech, Tangier, Sale, Rabat, and Tetouan.

This ambitious plan draws inspiration from pilot experiences led by world cities that proved efficient and successful in their management and planning.

It revolves around four strategic axes: Improving living conditions (MAD 2.6 billion) and granting particular interest to social categories living in precarious situations and to persons with specific needs, in complementarity with programs carried out in the frame of the National initiative of Human development.

the first focus is to consolidate community centers and facilities, support the non-formal sector, generalize primary education, rehabilitate health institutions, establish a center for the management of emergency actions and rescue operations, protect the environment and generalizing drinking water, electricity and sanitation grinds.

The second focus is to consolidate mobility in the region (MAD 27 billion) through the extension of the tramway line, develop the bus fleet, build urban, provincial and highway roads and building other road facilities and tunnels.

The third focus will be to promote the region’s economic attractiveness by restructuring existing industrial zones, build new industrial, services and logistics zones and improve the business atmosphere. It will be co-financed by public and private sectors.

The fourth focus, worth MAD 2 billion, is meant to confirm the region’s status as a national and international destination of commerce and leisure and venue of major events. To this end, the plan features building a large theater and a sports village, overhauling the Mohammed V compound and “La Casablancaise” space and rehabilitating the coastal area, the Merchich forest and the Ain Sbaâ Zoo.

Meanwhile, a 2.8 billion dirham priority action plan is being implemented during the year 2014.

To ensure the success of this large-scale project, several measures are scheduled, including enhancing governance and the legal framework, prospecting new methods of financing and partnership, modernizing public service and adopting a communication plan meant to promote the region’s identity.

The 2015-2020 Great Casablanca Region Development Plan will thus consolidate the “Wessal Casablanca Port” project which aims at reconverting a part of the Casablanca Port for an investment cost of MAD 6 billion. This project is expected to result in a large-scale upgrading operation of the whole city, by creating new urban centers across Casablanca and its suburbs and developing the historic old medina and its coast with the goal of making the city a major destination for cultural and business tourism and cruises.

On this occasion, the King chaired the signing ceremony of 10 agreements on the implementation of the 2015-2020 Great Casablanca Region Development Plan, worth MAD 33.6 billion.

The King of Morocco’s continuous efforts to fight religious extremism through simple measures

September 26th, 2014

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According to a statement from the Royal Office, King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful gave instructed the ministers of the Interior, the minister of Economy and Finance and the minister of Habous and islamic Affairs to set up a standing committee to examine the situation of closed mosques.

This committee aims at taking necessary measures to schedule the reconstruction, restoration or rehabilitation of closed mosques and their reopening according to priorities and within reasonable time limits as well as the raising of the needed funds for this operation and its local planning.

The Committee is also expected to take necessary steps to implement the provisions of the Royal Dahir on the monitoring of the situation of mosques in order to ensure the safety of the worshipers and foil any attempt to exploit the issue of closed mosques by any side for political, propaganda or any other purposes.

The King also ordered that the committee submits to His Majesty a progress status report on all operations every six months.

Full Text of HM the King’s Speech to 69th Session of UN General Assembly

September 26th, 2014

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United Nations, Sep. 26, 2014

Praise be to God, May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin Mr. Chairman, Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to take part in the Sixty-Ninth General Assembly of the United Nations Organization for which, Mr. Chairman, you have suggested “Sustainable development in the post-2015 development agenda” as the central theme. This is a pertinent choice which is fully in line with our Organization’s priorities, especially as it encompasses economic, social, environmental, security and political considerations. I have therefore decided to devote my address to this important topic, knowing that the Kingdom of Morocco’s standpoint regarding other items on this session’s agenda will be presented during the General Assembly committee meetings or at the ministerial meetings which will be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly. Achieving sustainable development is one of the pressing challenges facing mankind. It is particularly important, in this respect, to strike a balance between the requirements for economic and social progress and the protection of the environment, on the one hand, and the safeguard of the rights of future generations, on the other. Aware of these critical challenges, I have sought to set up a distinctive development model rooted in the culture and in the specific national values of the Moroccan people a model which also takes into account the need for positive interaction with international principles and objectives in this area. Morocco has thus managed to develop a pioneering national initiative for human development, together with ambitious programs in the field of renewable energy – especially solar and wind power generation – which are a key component of sustainable development. However, I am not here today to tell you about my country’s experience or about our achievements. I am here to make an appeal for developing countries to be treated fairly, especially in Africa, and for the development issue to be addressed in an objective manner. As you know, sustainable development is not something which can be achieved through decisions and ready-made prescriptions. Nor is there a single model in this area. Each country follows a path of its own, having taken into consideration its historical development, cultural heritage, human and natural resources, specific political circumstances, as well as its economic choices and the obstacles and challenges facing it. What applies to the West should not be used as the sole criterion for determining the efficiency of other development models, nor should one make comparisons between countries – however similar their circumstances may be – even when these countries belong to the same geographical area. Accordingly, the first call I should like to make from this rostrum regards the need to respect the characteristic values and principles of each country as it builds its own development model. This is particularly true for developing countries which are still suffering from the consequences of colonialism.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Colonialism caused severe damage to colonized countries. For many years, it hindered their development process, exploited their resources as well as the energies of their sons and daughters, brought about profound change in the customs and cultures of the peoples concerned and sowed the seeds not only of division between members of the same community, but also of conflict and discord between neighboring countries. Though many years have passed, the colonizers bear a historic responsibility for the tough – and at times tragic – circumstances experienced by some countries of the South, particularly in Africa. Today, and given the adverse consequences suffered, former colonial powers have no right to ask the countries of the South to introduce radical change rapidly, on the basis of a frame of reference with which they are unfamiliar, be it in terms of their culture, their principles or their values. It is as if no development were possible other than through a single model: that of the West. This brings me to the second appeal I would like to make to the international community: more realism and wisdom are needed when dealing with these countries. There should also be greater consideration for their circumstances and the paths they choose to achieve democracy and development. Instead of providing the assistance needed by the peoples concerned, some Western countries, which asked nobody’s permission to colonize countries of the South, continue to impose on them harsh conditions which hinder these countries’ normal course towards progress. In fact, all that Western countries and their affiliated institutions do is give lessons, and, at best, a few pieces of advice. As for support, it is very limited and is always conditional. What is more, they ask the countries of the South to achieve stability and development within a very short time frame and according to specific, imposed conditions, without taking into account these countries’ development processes or their specific national circumstances. There can be no stability without development. By the same token, development cannot be achieved without stability. Both hinge on respect for the sovereignty of states, their territorial integrity, culture and customs, as well as on a dignified life for their citizens. Moreover, the rating and classification of these countries – according to current standards – raises a number of questions. The rating process has shown not only its limits, but also how far removed it is from the reality of the countries of the South and how incapable it is of giving an objective account of the level of human development achieved by these countries. As inadequate as it unfortunately is, the aid granted is often based on these ratings and their quasi impossible conditions. I therefore appeal for intangible capital to be one of the primary criteria for measuring wealth and rating nations. As clearly shown by World Bank studies, intangible capital takes into consideration a series of factors related to the living conditions of the population, such as security, stability, human resources, institutional development and the quality of life and of the environment, all of which are elements that have a major impact on crafting public policies. The evolution of countries should not be governed by any rating or classification, instead, it should be viewed as a historical process based on the positive experiences of each country, similarly, each country’s characteristics should be respected.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The reference to the negative impact of colonialism does not mean we wish to put any party in the dock of a law court. This is simply an earnest call to do justice to the countries of the South by reconsidering the way they are dealt with and supporting them in their gradual march towards progress. In my address in Abidjan, last February, I insisted on the fact that Africa does not need humanitarian aid as much as it needs mutually beneficial partnerships. I also stressed that Africa needed to turn the page on the past and overcome its political, economic and social problems that it needed to rely on its own resources to achieve its development. This is exactly what Morocco has sought to accomplish through a series of important agreements signed with a number of African sister nations. In this respect, I wish to mention, in particular, the strategic agreement signed with Gabon for the production of fertilizers for African markets in order to contribute to development and food security in the continent, which is home to a staggering 60 per cent of the world’s unexploited land. This is an outstanding model of South-South cooperation which reflects our capacity as African countries to develop the continent by relying on ourselves and investing in the natural resources of our countries. As you know, Ladies and Gentlemen, achieving development does not merely hinge on a set of projects and on funding, nor is underdevelopment synonymous with the countries of the South. The problem has nothing to do with Africans’ attributes and skills. Indeed, Africans have proven their ability to produce and create whenever the right conditions were met, and whenever they managed to rid themselves of the oppressive legacy of colonialism. Similarly, the development issue in Africa has little to do with the nature of the land or the weather, as harsh as they may be in some parts of the continent. It is more closely related to deep-rooted economic dependence, the lack of support and funding and the absence of a sustainable development model. Thus, providing aid to these countries is not an option or an act of generosity as much as a necessity and a duty. What peoples really need, though, is fruitful cooperation grounded in mutual respect. Therefore, the right conditions need to be created, in theory and in practice, to move on to the next stage with regard to promoting both democracy and development, without interference in the internal affairs of states. In return, the latter should commit to good governance.

Mr. Chairman, Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses, The world stands at a crossroads today. Either the international community supports developing countries to help them achieve progress and ensure security and stability, or we shall all face the consequences of more conflicts and greater fanaticism, violence and terrorism – all of which feed on feelings of injustice and exclusion – and no part of the world shall be safe. As the world grows more acutely aware of the cross-border threats posed by the lack of sustainable and human development, and as we realize that ours is ultimately a common destiny, I am sure there will be a global awakening regarding the need to work for a more secure, more equitable and more humane world. Thank you. Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

Morocco is an emerging economy thanks to the vision of the King and the commitment of all Moroccans

August 21st, 2014

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August 20th is a national holiday in Morocco. This day commemorates Morocco’s struggle for independence from the French occupation. It has become a tradition that the King and the People of Morocco celebrate this day as heroes and as major players in what has become Morocco today.

This year, the King’s speech is yet another evaluation of the achievement of the Kingdom. while King Mohammed VI centered his speech on Morocco’s emerging economy, he continued to urge for even more reforms that will benefit all Moroccans. In his own words: “Our national economy has witnessed profound structural changes, together with large-scale diversification in all areas of production”, “It has consistently achieved high growth rates and managed to maintain balance, despite the impact of the world economic crisis.”

In fact, Morocco offers a model for capitalizing on the positive steps that have been accumulated throughout its history. The king’s long term vision and the sacrifices made by all Moroccans made of Moroccan development a model mature enough to enable it to make a final entry into emerging economies.

The King also said that “Morocco needs to take a few more steps to confidently move forward and join emerging nations…. Strong corporations and businesses have to be set up to boost the immunity of the national economy, both to enhance international competitiveness and develop partnerships with small businesses in order to stimulate growth at home.”

The Sovereign also stressed, as in many of his other speeches, that the human element remains “true wealth” of Morocco and one of the key components of intellectual capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, adding that “The homeland is for all Moroccans and it is their duty, as individuals and groups, to join forces, with determination and steadfastness, to safeguard the unity of the nation and work for its development.”

following is the full speech: http://www.maroc.ma/en/royal-speeches/full-text-hm-kings-speech-nation-61st-anniversary-king-and-peoples-revolution-day

King Felipe VI of Spain witnesses first hand the king of Morocco’s vision for the Moroccan youth

July 16th, 2014

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King Mohammed VI and King Felipe VI inaugurated a hotel and tourism training center in the suburbs of the Capital Rabat, Temara. The $2.2 million project that was launched a year ago by His Majesty Mohammed VI, has been carried out by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity. This projects aimed at integrating the Moroccan youth and involving them in the development of their country, underscores the King of Morocc’s commitment to the social development of Morocco’s youth.

The project which has been carried out jointly by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity and the Office of Vocational Training and Job Promotion confirms, once again, the choice of Morocco to make training a vital socio-professional integration tool. The new center will train youth in hotel and catering business and will facilitate access to training for candidates from remote regions, especially girls.

This project further consolidates the various actions taken by Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity in the region of Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer, to help develop the potential of Moroccan youth in order to improve their living conditions.

Women’s health at the heart of Morocco’s development

July 16th, 2014

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Queen Letizia of Spain and Princess Lalla Salma, chairwoman of the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, visited the Sheikha Fatma Centre for Gynaecological-Mammary Oncology at the National Oncology Institute affiliated to the Ibn Sina University Hospital in Rabat.

After a tour of the facility, a presentation by the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, was given by deputy director of the foundation Maria Bennani.

since its inauguration in 2013, the Sheikha Fatma Centre has received 2,600 cases and carried out 660 surgeries including 60% for breast cancer.

The construction of the new center, shows the interest Morocco is taking in improving women’s health in a global vision of His Majesty the King of Morocco to promote not only women’s rights but their health as well.

Morocco and Spain, two countries with shared past and future

July 15th, 2014

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Moroccan Spanish relations have always been built on friendship and close cooperation. After a Royal ceremony fit for Kings, a meeting was held at the Moroccan Palace between King Mohammed VI and the newly crowned King Felipe VI of Spain. The two kings are from the same generation and have shared visions for their peoples who share history and geography.

The talks took place in presence of HRH Prince Mly Rachid as well as Moroccan Foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar, and his Spanish peer Jose ManuelGarcia Margallo y Marfil, in addition to the Spanish Ambassador accredited in Morocco, José Carvajal Salido, and Morocco’s Ambassador to Spain, Mohamed Fadel Benyaich.

Official Royal Ceremony In Rabat For HM King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia Of Spain

July 15th, 2014

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Rabat, July 14, 2014

The Royal Palace in Rabat Morocco was the witness today of long standing friendship between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Spain. The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, along with HRH Prince Moulay Rachid and their Royal Highnesses Princesses Lalla Salma, Lalla Meryem, Lalla Asmae and Lalla Hasnae, chaired, on Monday the official welcoming ceremony for HM King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

The Official welcoming ceremony was done in a distinctive fashion with a troop of cavalry of the Royal Guard escorting the royal procession from their Royal Residence to the the Royal Palace reflecting the secular ties between Morocco and Spain. The ceremony then proceeded to the salute the flags while the national anthems of both countries were playing. A 21-gun cannon salute was fired to welcome HM the King Felipe VI and Queen Leitizia of Spain. The Spanish Monarch was greeted by a number of Moroccan civil and military figures, and HM the King was greeted by the members of the official Spanish delegation. A traditional milk and date ceremony for King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia followed the greetings.

Later on, King Mohammed VI Decorated Spain’s Sovereigns With Wissam Al-Mohammadi.

King Felipe VI in Morocco, a vote of confidence for Morocco’s success story.

July 14th, 2014

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A press release from the Moroccan Palace announced that following an invitation by HM King Mohammed VI, King Felipe VI of Spain is visiting Morocco on July 14th and 15th.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia arrived to Rabat on Monday for the start of the Spanish King’s first trip to an Arab African Country since acceding to the throne in June 19th.

This visit shows the importance Spanish leaders are giving to the economic and cultural development of the bilateral relations between the two Kingdoms. It also reflects the political consensus between the two countries and will strengthen joint action towards greater economic cooperation in a regional context marked by geostrategic changes.

This visit is without a doubt Europe’s vote of confidence for Morocco as a model for openness, cohabitation, security and political, economic and social stability in a world marked by the emergence of many areas of tension and instability.

King Felipe VI visit will provide an opportunity to further consolidate bilateral relations and seal a strategic partnership for the future of the two neighboring peoples united not only by geography but also by a rich shared history.

This visit which takes place just months before the holding, in Spain, of the 11th Moroccan-Spanish high level Meeting, will be a further step towards strengthening bilateral relations and raise them to a higher level in line with the visionary approach of HM King Mohammed VI.

Needless to say that the geostrategic position of the two countries at the gates of the Mediterranean impose exemplary cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime, human and drug trafficking. The Spanish Moroccan cooperation has greatly reduced the effectiveness of criminal networks.

Spain realized that Morocco and its cultural extensions in West and Central Africa are dynamic markets able to straighten the Spanish economy.

Spain is Morocco’s top economic partner alongside France. Both Countries have also worked closely to deter the rising number of illegal sub-Saharan immigrants trying to reach Spanish soil.

King of Morocco’s fight against extremism, a “Support Plan” to manage religion on a local level

June 13th, 2014

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According to a press release of the Royal Office, King Mohammed VI chaired the ceremony where the Minister of Religious Affairs presented the “support plan” to manage religious affairs at the local level. This plan is part of the King’s vision to fight radicalism and extremism and spread the values of moderate Islam.

The same source announced that this plan represents a new milestone on the path to further reform the religious field, a reform His Majesty has been overseeing since his accession to the throne, and which made the Moroccan religious management approach a model to follow at the regional and international levels.

This plan was developed by the ministry of religious affairs and the Higher Council of Oulema and represents part of the royal vision to promote and modernize Morocco’s religious field by providing qualified human resources and the necessary equipment. This marks a new era in religious leadership, particularly through assistance provided to Imams in mosques by the Imams-Mourchidines in the form of advice regarding the performance of imams duties, the expansion and improvement of the program to fight illiteracy.

According to the release, the plan aims to protect mosques from exploitation and improve the level of training in the service of religious values, in accordance with the principles of the Maliki rite. It also seeks to expand the scope of religious training at the local level through a coaching staff consisting of 1300 Imams-Mourchidines spread across the prefectures and provinces of the Kingdom.

The presentation also included the screening of a documentary about the work of an Imam-Mourchid in remote mountainous areas.

On Morocco, Its Western Allies, and Africa Policy

June 3rd, 2014

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Amid upheaval in Africa and the Middle East, the Kingdom of Morocco remains stable — largely due to its ongoing commitment to reform, from minority rights to transitional justice. The latter, in particular, has been widely discussed in countries Moroccan monarch Mohamed VI has recently visited, as part of his effort to strength his country’s ties throughout the African continent. Most recently, he was warmly welcomed by the Tunisian parliament, dominated by Islamists. They touted the Moroccan experience in transitional justice as both inspiring and worthy of emulation.

In his Tunisian speech, the king shared three principles of reform which he described as informing his policies in recent years. First, amid Arab publics’ fiercely expressed desire to end absolutism throughout the region, the king said that he always chose his peoples’ side. Secondly, he emphasized the importance of national development — and finally, regional integration, in his view not an option but an economic necessity.

These principles sum up more than ten years of policies, all in all a sound strategy, based on promoting and supporting transitions toward reform and democracy throughout the area. Morocco has also made the strategic choice of “south-south cooperation,” recognizing the enormous potential of African states to become some of the highest-growth economies in the world.

In Morocco’s struggle against terrorism, moreover, the country fuses hard-nosed security measures with an aid and development packages, focused on economic growth, social reform, and the promotion of a moderate and tolerant form of Islam.

The king’s progressive outlook with regard to Africa is not shared by Paris, which appears still to be pursuing outdated, post-colonial policies toward the continent. In some of the more important gatherings of African leaders, French elites are either not present or weakly represented. Witness the “New York Forum,” held in the Gabon capital Libreville two weeks ago: Chinese, Turkish, and South American participation was high, while barely any French people attended. France needs to join such gatherings, which are oriented toward forging Africa’s economic independence. As the Moroccan king stated in his recent speech in the Ivory Coast capital Abidjan, “There are no more hunting grounds” — meaning, Western powers should no longer look upon the continent as an area to be exploited.

Despite the limits of its economy, Morocco has managed to create and develop a substantial business within Africa — and the Islamic fiber of sub-Saharan Africa remains deeply tied to the Morocco’s centuries old Sufi traditions. There is a different in character and tone between Morocco’s approach to its southern neighbors and that of France: Whereas the latter still continues to regard itself as a “teacher” and Africans the “students,” Moroccans treat Africans as peers.

In visiting Tunisia, the king made his first trip to a country that had gone through an “Arab spring” revolution. In doing so, he signaled his choice to ally with countries that are pursuing a model of democratic transition — as opposed to those enduring military republics, notably Algeria, where populations despair of prospects for reform. Paris, as well as Washington, have much to gain by working with Morocco to establish a stronger and more constructive presence in Africa. These great powers should not allow China, Turkey, and other countries to be the only outside powers to advance their political and economic models on the continent.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-charai/on-morocco-its-western-al_b_5431485.html

King Mohammed VI of Morocco addresses the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly

June 1st, 2014

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King Mohammed VI kicks off his second day of an official visit to Tunis with a meeting with President Moncef Marzouki.

He delivered an important speech where His Majesty congratulated the members of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly as well as the Tunisian people for the irreversible choice they made to take the country through the path of reforms for democracy, freedom, dignity and social justice. His Majesty also congratulated all Tunisian forces for the very advanced constitution and for all the strides Tunisia made in the promotion of women and youth who are both major assets of both countries. The King also pointed to “the important role played by His Excellency President Moncef Marzouki as well as Prime Minister Mehdi Jomâa” in this process of building a strong Tunisia as a strategic partner in the Maghreb.

The Moroccan King reiterated his country’s support for Tunisia’s efforts to strengthen the foundations of its institutions, stressing that reforms is the best way to fulfill the Tunisian people’s aspirations. The Moroccan Sovereign added that the countries of the great Maghreb can, together, by rejecting “all forms of extremism, violence and terrorism” meet the challenges posed by the insecurity in the Sahel and the Sahara and become a strong partner in the Mediterranean region.

The Sovereign further commended “the active involvement of all of the Tunisian nation’s forces in the national dialogue to ensure the success of the democratic transition process within the framework of the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The King called for all countries of the region to cooperate, “The Maghreb Union is no longer a mere option or a political luxury; it has become a pressing popular demand and an inevitable strategic goal in the region.” Adding that “Such a new order would make it possible for our five countries to be in tune with the rapid changes occurring in the region by building on a comprehensive, participatory approach that enables our countries to rise to various development and security challenges.”

Morocco’s King concluded by adding that it is his firm belief “that thanks to the genius of its (Tunisia) sons and daughters, thanks to a strong commitment to community values and to patriotism, the Tunisian people will keep up their untiring efforts to consolidate the choice they made when they opted for peace, strengthen their national unity and sovereignty and achieve comprehensive development within the framework of the nation’s constitutional institutions.”

A new hope for the Maghreb, Morocco’s King visits Tunisia with a very important delegation

May 30th, 2014

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Armed with a strong will to help Tunisia in its smooth transition and to further build a strategic partnership with this brotherly neighboring country, Morocco’s King is on a three-day official visit to Tunisia invited by Tunisia’s President Mhamed Moncef Marzouki who is committed to see Morocco back in the AU.

King Mohammad VI was accompanied by the Crown Prince Mly El Hassan and Prince Mly Rachid in addition to a large delegation of 11 ministers and 90 businessmen.

Tunisia’s state news agency reported that, on Friday the two countries signed 23 cooperation agreements in various economic, social and security fields. These agreements are of strategic importance and open up broad prospects of cooperation for the integration of the Maghreb. The agreements signed also open a new area of cooperation in fields of renewable energy, the environment, financial markets, the promotion of human rights.

The importance of the Moroccan delegation and the signing of these agreements reflect the political will of the Kingdom of Morocco to enrich in a qualitative way the legal framework of bilateral cooperation involving security, economy, tourism and energy.

According to TAP news agency, “The signing ceremony took place at Carthage Palace under the co-chairmanship of Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki and King Mohammad VI of Morocco,”

AFP reported that King Mohammad VI will also meet Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa on Saturday and will give a speech to the National Constituent Assembly at 1530 GMT.

This visit highlights Morocco’s goal to be Tunisia’s strategic partner in order to help fulfill the aspirations of their people in a win win situation.

Also, one of the major outcomes of this visit is the King’s commitment to fight extremism in Africa through training Tunisia’s Imams on the basis of Morocco’s model of tolerant Islam, like His Majesty did with other African countries among which Mali and Nigeria.

The fight against extremism, Morocco is taking the lead in Africa

May 29th, 2014

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King Mohammed VI Gives Approval for Training Nigerian Imams in Morocco

According to a Moroccan Official, nine countries in the region requested religious cooperation including training imams, to promote moderate Islam and shield against extremism. Last fall, King Mohammed VI agreed to Mali’s request to train 500 imams.

Nigeria joins in to become the eight country in the region to request religious training of Imams

In a statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, gave his approval for the request by the Nigerian Islamic Council and Iftaa Authority for training Nigerian Imams in Morocco.

This request was made to Morocco’s King by Sheikh Charif Ibrahim Saleh Hosseini, president of the Nigerian Islamic Council and Iftaa Authority, on behalf of Ulema and bodies which he chairs in Nigeria.

King Mohammed gave his orders to inform the concerned party of this royal approval and instructed the minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs to examine the implementation procedures related to the request.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay wrapped up her first official visit to Morocco

May 28th, 2014

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Wrapping up her first official visit to Morocco, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay noted that “Morocco has clearly made great strides towards the better promotion and protection of human rights…”

This was the first visit by a UN High Commissioner in 13 years. Ms Pillay was received by King Mohammed VI, Prime Minister Benkirane, leading officials in the Cabinet and Parliament, judges, members of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), members of the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CESE), and civil society representatives in an effort to “deepen the cooperation between my Office and the Government of Morocco and to gain a better understanding of the current human rights situation in the country.”

Ms Pillay commented on implementation issues needing further attention. Speaking with the press at the end of the visit, she noted that “Morocco has clearly made great strides towards the better promotion and protection of human rights.”

She also acknowledged Morocco’s wide-ranging human rights reforms that have taken place since the establishment of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission in 2004; and she lauded the “progressive” 2011 Constitution, the strengthening of CNDH, and Morocco’s “vibrant civil society.” She also noted that all of these positive changes “have resulted in a broad range of human rights issues being aired and addressed.”

Pillay noted that some of the laws necessary for implementation and enforcement have not yet been adopted and called upon the country to act swiftly to implement currently proposed reforms, including gender equality, military justice, judicial reform, and the press code. As she noted, “in all of these areas there are high expectations about the positive impact of reforms, but these cannot be met until the laws are promulgated.”

Ms Pillay also acknowledged that “it was clear that there is the political will at the highest levels to continue efforts to set a firm human rights foundation for Moroccan society.”

The Kingdom of Morocco and the Promise of Mali

March 4th, 2014

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Ahmed Charai
Moroccan media CEO and Mid-East policy advisor in Washington

Huffington Post 02/18/2014

The promise of Africa below the Sahara has been recognized far and wide as a rich and diverse swath of humanity as well as a rapidly growing market of more than 800 million people, with enormous potential for human development and economic opportunity.

At the same time, new parts of of Africa have grown politically unstable — wracked by ethnic and sectarian violence and failed or failing states. As Americans know well, the northern section of the volatile state of Mali — that is, a portion of the country roughly the size of France — fell into the hands of Al-Qaeda for months in 2012 and early 2013. It was an unprecedented achievement for the terrorist group — a nucleic al-Qaeda jihadist state — requiring urgent and immediately countermeasures from the West. The French armed forces played a vital role in liberating it, with crucial support from the United States. But both countries are aware that going forward, Mali and other countries nearby need to be secured by indigenous African armies. Nor is there a permanent military solution for the threats these countries face: In the long run, economic development and sweeping counter-radicalization strategies are necessary to drain the swamps in which jihadism festers.

As I have observed in prior articles, Morocco has begun to play a vital role in rolling back radicalism in Mali, and maintained that commitment after the French and American military presence ebbed. Morocco has been training Malian and many other African forces and providing intelligence and counterterrorism expertise to the central government. It has also built on the veneration which King Mohammed VI enjoys in the country to foster tolerance and fight extremism. Within his country, the monarch enjoys the special status of Amir al-Mu’mineen (“Prince of the Believers”), the ranking religious authority and steward of its Islamic culture. In the broader region, he is embraced by Sufi mystics and practitioners of “popular Islam,” by virtue of his family descent from the prophet Muhammad and representation of Morocco’s distinguished place in the enduring history of Sufism. Morocco has organized the training of 500 Imams in Mali; from their pulpits throughout the country, they are bravely waging a war of ideas within Malian Islam to help tolerance and nonviolence prevail.

Meanwhile, the king Mohammed is leveraging the goodwill generated through constructive military and spiritual engagement to play a diplomatic role in Mali, as a potential mediator between its warring factions. Last year a new Malian president was sworn in — Ibrahim Boubacar Keita — having won elections on a platform of good governance and reestablishment of security and stability in the country. The Moroccan monarch moved swiftly to establish a close partnership with him, pledging sustained support. Having forged this relationship, the king more recently began to engage an erstwhile rival of the central government in Mali, Bilal AG Cherif, a leader of the restive, ethnically Touareg population and Secretary General of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). Cherif visited Rabat on February 1. The group’s decision to rebel against the central government in 2012 began the devastating chain of events that led to a jihadist occupation of the country’s north. Now the MNLA has committed to the path of political engagement, hoping to achieve greater rights and opportunities for its constituents. By forging its own relationship with King Mohammed VI, the group has in a sense consecrated its commitment to political engagement, entrusting its legitimate aspirations to a foreign statesman with enormous moral and political clout in Mali. It is a significant step forward toward the stabilization of the country.

These developments raise questions about the potential role of another neighbor of Mali’s, the heavily militarized Republic of Algeria. That country views Morocco as a rival, and for decades have supported a secessionist Polisario militia that lays claims to the southern half of the kingdom. It cannot be entirely pleased at the warming of ties between Morocco and Mali. Going forward, will Algeria’s displeasure prove constructive or problematic? On the one hand, it could be a force for good — lending its own military capacities to the stabilization of Mali and the broader environment, and pledging financial assistance. (Algeria is a major exported or oil in North Africa.) On the other hand, it could choose a darker path and choose to expand its enmity from Morocco into Mali, stymying the country’s aspirations as it has for decades by draining Moroccan resources via the Polisario conflict.

In either case, the promising beginnings of rapprochement and stabilization in Mali, thanks in large part to Morocco’s commitment to the country, can only benefit from enhanced American support. Backing for Morocco’s exportation of Islamic tolerance can increase the magnitude of its efforts and help score a decisive, peaceful victory against jihadism. Through enhanced military partnership, Morocco can serve as a conduit for training and a collaborative architect for a new security systems to stabilize Mali, from its borders with other unstable countries to its heartlands. And as for Algeria, its own hopes to win improve relations with the West can be leveraged by the United States — ensuring that its role in Mali is a benefit, and never a hindrance, to its promising future.

Ahmed Charai is publisher of the Moroccan weekly news magazine L’Observateur; Chairman and CEO of MED Radio national broadcast network and chairman of the daily newspaper Al-Ahdath al-Maghrebiya. In the United States, he sits on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council of United States and the board of trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as the board of trustees of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a member of The National Interest’s Advisory Council.

His Majesty the King Mohammed VI arrives in Conakry

March 3rd, 2014

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His Majesty the King Mohammed VI arrived on Monday March 3, 2014 in Conakry for an official visit in the Republic of Guinea, third leg of an African tour that took the sovereign to Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and will take him to Gabon.Upon his arrival at the Conakry-Gbessia airport, His Majesty the King was greeted by Guinean President, Pr. Alpha Condé. The Sovereign was greeted afterwards by Guinean Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana and by the governor of Conakry.His Majesty the King and the Guinean head of state headed for the VIP stand to salute the flags while the national anthems of both countries were playing. A 21-gun salute was fired to welcome the sovereign.His Majesty the King was greeted by presidents of constitutional bodies, high-ranking officers of the Guinean armed forces, presidents of constitutional institutions, cabinet members, the diplomatic and consular corps and representatives of international organizations accredited to Conakry.The sovereign was also greeted by Morocco’s ambassador to Conakry Majid Halim, members of the Moroccan diplomatic mission and representatives of the Moroccan community in Guinea and of Moroccan institutions in Conakry.His Majesty the King was also welcomed by representatives of the Association of Guinean former interns and students in Morocco, as well as by representatives of religious brotherhoods. Thereafter, The Guinean president was greeted by members of the official delegation accompanying His Majesty the King, mainly advisors of the Sovereign, Taib Fassi Fihri and Fouad Ali El Himma.The Moroccan official delegation comprises also Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq, Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics Aziz Rebbah, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Health El Houceine El Ouardi, Minister of Energy Abdelkader Amara and Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad, as well as Youssef Amrani, Chargé de Mission in the Royal Office. His Majesty the King is also accompanied by a delegation of businessmen representing the public and private sectors, and by civilian and military figures.The official procession was then directed to the residence of His Majesty the King, amidst cheers and applause of a large crowd of people, traditional leaders and customary from Guinea, as well as members of the Moroccan community in Guinea, from across the country to cheer him and welcome the Sovereign to the African soil of Guinea.Giant portraits of King Mohammed VI and President Alpha Condé adorned for days the main streets of the city of Conakry, a sign of pride and enthusiasm of an entire nation to welcome the Sovereign and wish him a good stay in Conakry.

King Mohammed VI at Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum

March 3rd, 2014

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PR Newswire WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2014

“Africa Should Learn to Trust Africa”King calls for greater South-South cooperation, inter-African partnerships to spur progress, growth”

In a speech opening the first-ever Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire yesterday, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI lauded Cote d’Ivoire’s economic progress and the two countries’ growing economic partnership. He emphasized the need for more cooperation across the continent, as well as private-sector investment, to spur development. The Forum served as the cornerstone of the King’s visit to Cote d’Ivoire — the second leg of a four-nation Africa trip that has already taken him to Mali and will continue on to Guinea and Gabon.

“Whereas the last century was that of the independence of African States, the 21st century should be that of African peoples’ triumph over the ravages of underdevelopment, poverty and exclusion,” said the King to an audience of Moroccan and Ivorian dignitaries, including Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan.The King said that “Africa should learn to trust Africa,” and that “the continent’s wealth should benefit African peoples.” The Moroccan sovereign highlighted that “for sustainable development to take place in Africa, the creativity and dynamism of the private sector should focus on specific promising areas such as agriculture, industry, science and technology, and infrastructure development…”

“A vibrant, developed Africa is not merely a dream for tomorrow; it can be a reality today, provided we take action,” said the King. But to do so requires rising to “the challenges which threaten its political stability and hinder its socioeconomic development,” overcoming “Afro-pessimism,” and unlocking “its intellectual and material potential as well as that of all African peoples.”The King’s remarks come after a five-day visit to Mali, where he presided with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita over the signing of 17 bilateral cooperation agreementsfocusing on a broad range of economic and development matters.

Over the next week, King Mohammed VI will also visit Guinea and Gabon.

King of Morocco outreach to Africa

February 24th, 2014

maliBAMAKO

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

King Mohammed VI arrived in Mali Tuesday for a five-day tour to support the country’s peace process.

The king was welcomed by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at the airport as he began his first visit since attending the Malian leader’s inauguration in September.

He was greeted by a 21-canon salute, a traditional dance by masked performers and the national anthems of the two countries before heading into central Bamako along streets thronged with thousands of well-wishers who chanted: “Long live the king!”

The visit takes place with preliminary meetings under way in Bamako ahead of peace negotiations between the government and armed insurgents in the north, including the ethnic Tuareg separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

Mali was thrown into chaos in 2012 when the MNLA launched an offensive in the northern desert helped by Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda who then cast aside the Tuareg rebels and took the region for themselves.

The Islamists were driven out after nine months by a French-led military intervention launched in January 2013. But they are regrouping in the desert and remain an ever-present threat to security.

The operation was backed by Morocco which, despite having no border with Mali, counts Islamist militants throughout Africa’s Sahel and Maghreb regions as a high priority security threat.

Algiers was the preferred location for various peace agreements in the 1990s and early 2000s between the Malian government and the Tuareg, who are spread across several countries in the region, including Algeria.

But Morocco, a major trading partner with Mali, has been challenging Algeria’s traditional position as mediator between the government in Bamako and the Tuareg.

With Keita’s blessing, Mohammed VI received MNLA chief Bilal Ag Acherif in January, encouraging him back to the table with the Malian government after the rebels had walked out on U.N.-sponsored talks in Algiers.

A historical meeting between King Mohammed VI and Barak Obama

November 23rd, 2013

White House, Friday November 22nd.

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U.S. President Barack Obama met with His Majesty King Mohammed VI, at the White House, during an official working visit of the King of Morocco to the United States of America.

During this first meeting between the two leaders, His Majesty the King and the U.S. President discussed various issues of common interest at the bilateral, regional, and international levels.

The King and the President reaffirmed their determination to consolidate the long-standing friendship, the successful partnership, and the strategic alliance uniting the two countries.

The Moroccan delegation included Fouad Ali El Himma, and Taib Fassi Fihri, Advisers to His Majesty the King, Salaheddine Mezouar, Foreign Minister, Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance, Mbarka Bouaida, Minister-delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of His Majesty the King to the United States, and Youssef Amrani, Senior chargé of mission to the King’s office.

This was a historical meeting taking place at a very crucial time for both countries.

Joint Statement by the United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco

November 22nd, 2013

The White House

For Immediate Release

November 22, 2013

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today at the White House, President Obama and His Majesty King Mohammed VI reaffirmed the strong and mutually beneficial partnership and strategic alliance between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco. The two leaders stressed that this important visit provides an opportunity to map out a new and ambitious plan for the strategic partnership and pledged to advance our shared priorities of a secure, stable, and prosperous Maghreb, Africa, and Middle East. The two leaders also emphasized our shared values, mutual trust, common interests, and strong friendship, as reflected throughout our partnership.

Support for Democratic and Economic Reforms

The President commended the action and the leadership of His Majesty the King in deepening democracy and promoting economic progress and human development during the past decade. The President and His Majesty the King reaffirmed their commitment to work together to realize the promise of Morocco’s 2011 constitution and explore ways in which the United States can help strengthen Morocco’s democratic institutions, civil society, and inclusive governance. The President welcomed the King’s commitment to end the practice of military trials of civilians. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the UN human rights system and its important role in protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, and committed to deepening the ongoing U.S.-Morocco dialogue on human rights, which has been a productive and valuable mechanism for the exchange of views and information. Noting their shared concern about migrants, refugees, and human trafficking issues worldwide, the President expressed support for Morocco’s initiative to reform its asylum and immigration system based on recommendations from Morocco’s National Human Rights Commission. The President welcomed Morocco’s intent to take concrete steps to qualify for and join the Open Government Partnership and to realize the vision of the Equal Futures Partnership by ensuring women fully participate in public life, and that they lead and benefit from inclusive economic growth.

Economic and Security Cooperation

The two leaders emphasized that the United States and Morocco are dedicated to working together to promote human and economic development in Morocco. They noted the successful conclusion, in September 2013, of Morocco’s first Millennium Challenge Compact, and the Compact’s positive impact on job creation, economic growth, and human development throughout Morocco. The President highlighted the U.S. Agency for International Development’s new development strategy for 2013-2017, designed to help the Moroccan government achieve its reform goals and respond to the needs of Moroccan citizens. This strategy focuses on: enhancing the employability of youth; increasing civic participation in governance; and enhancing educational attainment for children at the primary level.

They noted that the two countries signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement on November 21, 2013 to expand bilateral cooperation on the detection of money laundering, trade fraud, and other financial crime. Additionally, on November 21, 2013 the United States and Morocco signed a Trade Facilitation Agreement that furthers the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement and represents a forward-leaning, 21st century agreement on customs reform and modernization. Morocco is our first partner in the region to conclude such an agreement, as well as to endorse joint principles on investment and information communication technology services trade. These important initiatives reflect our common commitment to building stronger economic ties with and among the region.

The President and His Majesty the King recognized the importance of Morocco as a trade and investment platform for North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and the benefits of maintaining an attractive business climate for investment in Morocco. Building on the December 2012 U.S.-Morocco Business Development Conference in Washington, DC, the King noted that planning is underway for a second such Conference to be held in Rabat in 2014. The 2014 Business Development Conference aims to build on business-to-business contacts in aviation, the agriculture and food industry, and energy to expand trade and promote investment, as well as regional economic integration. The President expressed appreciation to the King for offering to host the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and both leaders highlighted the importance of fostering broad-based economic opportunity in the region, particularly for young people and women.

Educational and Cultural Cooperation

Applauding their people-to-people ties, the President and His Majesty the King are committed to exploring further cooperation to promote mutual understanding and interfaith dialogue in Morocco and throughout the region. They reiterated their commitment to enhance and diversify exchange programs that include the Moroccan American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange. The President and His Majesty the King underscored the importance of early ratification and implementation of the agreement between the two countries on the registration and status of the system of American schools in Morocco. Both leaders committed to strengthening ties and increasing mutual understanding between Moroccan and American youth. The President commended His Majesty the King for graciously committing to donate $1 million per year over the next 5 years to the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative, which hopes to connect youth from all different age groups in the Middle East and North Africa with youth in the United States through virtual exchange.

The Issue of the Western Sahara

The President pledged to continue to support efforts to find a peaceful, sustainable, mutually agreed-upon solution to the Western Sahara question. U.S. policy toward the Western Sahara has remained consistent for many years. The United States has made clear that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic, and credible, and that it represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity. We continue to support the negotiations carried out by the United Nations, including the work of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Ambassador Christopher Ross, and urge the parties to work toward a resolution. The two leaders affirmed their shared commitment to the improvement of the lives of the people of the Western Sahara and agreed to work together to continue to protect and promote human rights in the territory.
Regional Security and Counterterrorism Cooperation
The leaders noted their partnership on the United Nations Security Council over the past two years in the advancement of international peace and security, including in Mali, the Sahel, Syria, Libya, and the Middle East. They reaffirmed their commitment to continue to deepen civilian and military cooperation in the areas of non-proliferation and counter-terrorism. To address their deep concern for the continuing threat posed by terrorism, the United States and Morocco intend to continue cooperation to bolster democratic criminal justice institutions and to counter the threat of violent extremism in the region. The leaders also reinforced their commitment to regional cooperation initiatives.

The leaders are committed to continuing close cooperation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum and to work to strengthen regional political, economic, and security ties across North Africa and the Sahel, including through a reinvigorated Arab Maghreb Union and other regional forums.
The President encouraged Morocco to join the United States in founding the International Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law in Malta, which intends to train a new generation of criminal justice officials across North, West, and East Africa on how to address counterterrorism and related security challenges through a rule of law framework.
Africa

His Majesty the King thanked the President for the importance given to the promotion of social development and economic prosperity within Africa. The President acknowledged His Majesty the King’s leadership and the actions carried out by Morocco in the field of peace keeping, conflict prevention, human development, and the preservation of cultural and religious identity.

In this context, both countries committed to explore joint initiatives to promote human development and stability through food security, access to energy, and the promotion of trade based on the existing Free Trade Agreement. The two Heads of State were pleased to note their common assessment of the critical role of human and economic development in promoting stability and security on the African continent, and committed to explore in greater detail concrete options for pragmatic, inclusive cooperation around economic and development issues of mutual interest.

Middle East Peace

His Majesty commended the continuous commitment of the President and the efforts of the Secretary of State to advance Middle East peace. The President acknowledged the contribution of His Majesty, Chairman of the Al Quds committee, to the efforts aiming to achieve a two state solution.

Conclusion

The President and His Majesty the King closed the meeting by emphasizing their shared commitment to the special and longstanding relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco, which in 1777 became the first nation to recognize the independence of the United States. President Obama and King Mohammed VI reaffirmed their commitment to stay in close contact and to continue on a path of increased cooperation that will strengthen the United States-Morocco strategic partnership, including the next meeting of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue in Rabat. They each intend to designate a senior official to lead the implementation of the commitments made today, and the President thanked His Majesty the King for his invitation to visit Morocco. Today’s meeting demonstrates that the interests of the United States and Morocco continue to converge, and that this historic partnership, which began in the 18th century, continues to thrive well into the 21th century.

The Moroccan King opens fall parliamentary session with important speech.

October 12th, 2013

Just a day after blessing the new cabinet, King Mohammed VI delivered an important speech before members of both houses of Parliament on the occasion of the opening of the first session of the third legislative year of the ninth legislature.

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In this speech, the Moroccan King lauded the initiative by the speakers of both houses of parliament to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moroccan parliament’s inception by elaborating an integrated program seeking to highlight the main stages of the evolution of the Moroccan institutional process.

HM reiterated that the pluralist parliamentary practice is not something new in Morocco. It is a strategic choice that spanned fifty years and which stems from the deep faith of Morocco and its lifeblood in democratic principles. This is why the Moroccan democratic model stands out as a precursor in its regional and continental environment.

In fact, the Moroccan parliament is a living memory and a privileged witness of the resolute positions adopted by Morocco and the important battles it has waged to make headway with its pluralist political process, HM the King noted.

The sovereign noted that progress of the Moroccan institutional process is continuously changing on the back of accumulations of positive representation practices, nationally and locally.

The sovereign also underlined the fact that the first representation practice called the parliamentary mandate is a representation of the nation not a political allowance.

“You should measure the extent of this huge task which requires devotion and abnegation, as well as sincere patriotism and a sense of responsibility in fulfilling one’s duties,”

HM urged the representatives of the people should adopt all organic laws during this legislature because those laws complete the constitution, asking the MPs to show a national consensual spirit, adopt a broad participatory approach, like the one which characterized the adoption of the Constitution.

The King also called for adopting a status of parliamentary opposition so that it could carry out its role of supervising government action, providing constructive criticism and submitting realistic proposals and alternatives to serve the Nation’s higher interests.

The sovereign underlined the need for a constructive dialogue and close, balanced cooperation between the parliament and the government, while respecting the separation of powers to guarantee a healthy political practice based on efficiency, coherence and institutional stability and avoid that parliament be turned into a political arena.

The sovereign enumerated the second representation practice which is the local, regional or local council mandate which is more important as it is linked to everyday life of the citizens.

HM the King added that local councils are the ones tasked to ensure the management of basic services needed by the citizens on a daily basis, while the government is in charge of elaborating and implementing public policies and sectoral plans.

However, the sovereign went on to say, reality shows the existence of huge variations between the management of local and regional affairs. In fact, if there are some territorial authorities which benefit from a reasonable management model, others suffer unfortunately from elected bodies’ defective management.

HM gave the example of the city of Casablanca in which the sovereign launched the new concept of authority. Given the special status of Casablanca as an engine for economic development, there is a strong will to turn the city into an international financial hub.

Such transformation requires first of all basic infrastructure and services that meet international standards, fostering the rules of good governance, setting up an adequate legal framework, training qualified human resources and adopting modern management methods, the sovereign said, underlining that, despite all equipment and investment efforts, the city of Casablanca lacks the said assets, particularly urban development.

The sovereign pointed out that all problems plaguing the city could be summarized in one thing: governance deficit, stressing that, though the budget of Casablanca’s local council is three or four times that of Fez or Marrakech for instance, achievements in terms of quality basic services by the two cities are better than those of Casablanca.

This gap is reflected in the rate of wastewater purification which stands at 45% against 100% in Fez and Marrakech, HM the King noted, emphasizing that this complex situation calls for an urgent diagnosis to identify the roots of the problem and ways to remedy it.

To address shortcomings in several cities and rural centers, HM the King drew the attention of political parties to the need to endeavor to facilitate the emergence of new competences and regional elites able to manage local public affairs given the broad prerogatives laid in the constitution for territorial authorities and the prospects of extensive regionalization.

HM the King urged the government and the parliament to give concrete substance to provisions on the Region and other territorial authorities and adopt related legal texts. The sovereign also said that it is incumbent on the cabinet to activate the adoption of the administrative devolution charter.

HM the King also highlighted that the parliamentary mandate and the town council mandate are the keystones of participatory political practice, chosen by Moroccans, and which will be incomplete in the absence of the two components. The importance of the two mandates lies not only in the good management of public affairs, but also in the will to serve the nation’s higher interests and defend its just causes, mainly Morocco’s territorial integrity.

The sovereign underscored that “the Sahara issue faced this year huge challenges which we succeeded in addressing thanks to the relevance of our proposal and legitimacy of our cause,” noting that “we should not be satisfied with winning this battle or giving in to blind optimism.”
The sovereign noted the existence of some mistakes in dealing with the main national cause, despite serious initiatives undertaken by some MPs which encourage our foes to double efforts in their attempts to undermine our country.

The monarch explained that “this is due to the fact that most actors are not mobilized unless in case of imminent danger threatening our territorial integrity, as if they are waiting for the green light to do anything, while we should drive them back to the defensive by making the first move, anticipating events and responding positively to them”.

“In fact, the Sahara issue is not only the responsibility of the King, but it is also the cause of each and every one: state institutions, parliament, elected councils, and political, trade union and economic actors, civil society organizations, media and all citizens”

HM the King added that “the source of our strength, in defending our Sahara, lies in the unanimity of all segments of the Moroccan people over their sacred values.”

the King also called for a “strong mobilization and vigilance, and efficient initiatives, at home and abroad, to counter the nation’s adversaries wherever they are and foil their illegitimate stratagem.
It is incumbent on the parliament to elaborate an efficient action plan, using all parliamentary tools, to continue defending our territorial integrity, by putting aside antagonisms between majority and opposition”

“Members of parliament as well as local and regional elected members, mainly in our southern provinces, should shoulder their responsibilities as representatives of the region’s inhabitants and counter the country’s enemies”

As supreme representative of the State, symbol of the nation’s unity, the King said that he will spare no effort in preserving the kingdom’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and stability.

A new cabinet in Morocco gets the blessings of the King

October 10th, 2013

The King of Morocco gave his blessings to the new government of Morocco after a long wait of negotiation between parties of the coalition.

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Abdelilah Benkirane, the head of the government affirmed that the audience granted by HM the King to the members of the reshuffled government shows the sovereign’s confidence in this new cabinet.

This government reshuffle contains 39 Ministers among whom 6 women and is aimed at doubling efforts in order to speed up the process of democratization already on the way for over a decade.

The King’s determination to receive the new cabinet right before the opening of the fall parliamentary session is a sign of commitment to reinforce democracy, the rule of law within all institutions, at a time when the region swims in political instability.

It is worth mentioning that despite the long wait for the new cabinet, all government institutions continued working without interruption. this reflects the historical depth of the Kingdom’s institutions under the leadership and vision of His Majesty, guaranteeing continuity.

Another blow to Polisario self claimed legitimacy over Western Sahara

October 10th, 2013

imageIn support for the Moroccan proposal to grant extensive autonomy to the Sahara region, the Haitian government announced, on October 10, 2013, the official withdrawal of its recognition of the so called “sahrawi arab democratic republic” (SADR), a non recognized and phoney entity made up of a group of separatists supported by Algeria to destabilize Morocco and North Africa.

A statement from Haïti’s foreign affairs ministry announced that this decision seeks to encourage the settlement of the issue by the UN and support efforts made by the UN and the personal envoy to reach a final, mutually-acceptable political solution by the parties.

The government of the republic of Haïti encourages the parties to continue talks with goodwill to preserve the dynamic spurred by the Moroccan proposal to grant extensive autonomy to the Sahara region and reach a solution based on realism and the spirit of compromise, pursuant to relevant resolutions by the UNSC.

Bombardier’s investment in Morocco, a sign of healthy environment for businesses

September 30th, 2013

imageFrom Tanger to Nouaceur, the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, inaugurated, Monday the “Midparc” integrated industrial platform for aeronautics, and launched the building works of the first plant in Africa by Canadian aerospace company “Bombardier”. bombardier will give impetus to the national industrial strategy “Plan Emergence”.

The projects give a strong signal of the King’s firm will to spur the competitiveness of the aeronautics sector, reinforce industrial infrastructure, and give more visibility to national and foreign investors.

The Midparc industrial platform, worth 887.6 million dirhams, is built over a surface area of 124.4 ha. It seeks to create a platform for the aeronautics industry and related activities, in-car electronics and industrial logistics and has the status of a free export zone.

The Bombardier Maroc is the first plant in Midparc to open its doors and will contribute to increasing Moroccan exports and developing the local industrial fabric. Worth 200 million dollars, the plant is expected to create 850 direct jobs and 4,400 indirect ones.

The Bombardier Maroc, to be carried out over three phases, is aimed at producing flight control equipment for its Learjet 70 and 75 business jets and CRJ jets.

The Bombardier company is thus gaining a foothold in Morocco as did other multinationals like EADS, Boeing, Souriau, SAFRAN, Zodiac Aerospace and Air France Industries, which confirms the capacity of the Kingdom to host a leading aeronautical base.

Training human resources is of paramount importance which was reflected in the inauguration by HM the King in Nouaceur of the Institute of aeronautics-related jobs (May 6, 2011) and the Specialized Institute for aeronautics-related jobs and airport logistics (September 11, 2013).

On this occasion, HM the King visited one of the intermediary workshops meant to receive enterprises and facilitate their setting up in the platform.

The inauguration of the Midparc industrial platform was marked by the signature, under the chairmanship of HM the King, of four investment agreements between the state and enterprises from the aeronautics sector and two agreements to set up an investment fund for the said sector and supply the platform with electricity.

Under the four agreements, the signatory businesses with projects related to the maintenance and manufacturing of aeronautics electrical and mechanical equipment will benefit from financial aid.

These projects, totaling over 120 million dirhams, will create 268 new direct jobs and generate a turnover of 403 million dirhams.

The implantation of Bombardier comes in addition to the large contractors and confirms, once again, the ability of the Kingdom of Morocco to host an aeronautic base of high quality.

Tanger, ambitious upgrade of the tourism sector

September 28th, 2013

tangier2HM King Mohammed VI visited this Saturday various worksites of the Tanger-ville port reconversion, carried out with an investment of 6.2 billion DH.

The Sovereign visited the worksites of the Medina wall rehabilitation, the new marina and the fishing port.

Extending over 84 hectares, the Tanger-ville port zone reconversion project, which started in March 2011, seeks to make the city of Tangiers a flagship destination for cruising and yachting tourism in the Mediterranean by developing several poles (cruising, yachting, fisheries, hotels, culture and conferences, trade, residences and offices)

In conformity with the instructions of HM the King, the project, to be completed end of 2016 will help secure an optimum reconversion of the site while respecting the rich history of the city of Tangiers, integrating the port in the city landscape and promoting environment-friendly development. The port area will have several major facilities for the world’s largest cruise ships, expected to bring to Morocco around 300,000 tourists in 2016 and 750,000 in 2020.

The Tanger-ville port is also expected to become the Gibraltar strait’s port that extends the best services to sailors and sailing ships and integrated services that include ship repair, wintering, sailing ships sale and schools for sailing activities.

Another main component of the project is the building of a new fisheries port to improve the work conditions of professionals through modern installations, re-launching investments and creating jobs in the fisheries sector.

King Mohammed VI in his continuous efforts to make of Morocco a modern country in the African continent

September 27th, 2013

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While other countries in the region are dealing with serious issues, King Mohammed VI of Morocco is touring the country and launching programs to modernize it.

this time, Tangier, the north city at the foot of Europe and the door of Africa, was the target for what is called the Tangier-Metropolis program 2013-2017. this is going to be the city’s integrated, balanced and inclusive development and will total 7.663 billion dirhams of investment.

The Tangier-Metropolis program was elaborated to be an unprecedented urban model in Morocco and in the southern shore of the Mediterranean.

The program will step up the city’s development and turn Tangier into a hot destination. Based on an innovative approach in terms of integration and coherence of public interventions, this ambitious program takes into account the basic elements namely the urban environment to improve living conditions, the social environment to enhance the human potential, the economic environment to foster the city’s asset and know-how, the cultural environment to reinforce the city’s identity, openness and heritage and the religious environment to give religious practice its right place in society.

On the urban environment, new access roads will be built to ease the city’s congestion as well as a ring road to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. For an efficient space and economic reorganization, all community services generating road traffic will be moved in the suburbs which will free more lands.

The Tangier-Metropolis program provides for a third highway, a coastal one, making provincial roads into a dual carriageway, building bypasses as the one linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean “Rocade des deux Mers”, the generalization of roads in neighborhoods, and building underground parking lots in addition to an Atlantic coastal road “Rocade Océanique”.

Provided for will be the cleaning up the polluted coast from the Cap Malabata to Assilah through Cap Spartel on 65 km. Tributary streams across the city will be also cleaned up.

The Tangier coast road will be completely redeveloped and several parks will be set up.

Concerning the social environment, 25 new schools and 21 daycares will be built, four schools will be extended and 166 prefabricated classrooms will be converted into permanent structures. All schools will be supplied with drinking water and electricity.

As for health, 4 new community clinics will be set up and 6 health centers will be redeveloped, in addition to the Mohammed V hospital which will be revamped. An emergency unit and a multi-purpose health center will be constructed.

Concerning sports, the King also gave his orders to build a city of sports over 60 hectares according to international standards. It will host an Olympic pool, a tennis complex, three multidisciplinary indoors halls, 6 football fields and other fields for basket-ball and volley-ball and a pétanque field. The sports city will include a hotel, a sports clinic and a mall for sport items.

In continuous effort to empower youth and women, centers for youth and women’s empowerment will be set up.

In addition, industrial stock will be built south of the city near the highway interchange. Community-based equipment will be transferred outside the city to offers citizens rapid and good functional services.

Noisy economic activities will be put in specific-activity areas and health conditions will be improved.

Community-based markets will be constructed and restored to provide room for door-to-door salesmen.

The project includes also a tourism aspect as it provides for protecting and upgrading existing sites.

Concerning the cultural dimension, a large-scale project concerns the rehabilitation of Tangier’s heritage mainly the Hercules cave and the Rmilate garden, in addition to the creation of new facilities like the Palace of arts and cultures and a theatre.

As for the religious environment, 11 new mosques will be built and seven will be refurbished.

Tangier is considered a strategic gateway to Europe, Africa, America and Asia. The city is draining investments on the back of its industrial assets which enabled the construction of the Tangier-Med port that attracted Renault-Nissan and Maersk to gain a foothold in Morocco.

Press release on migrants rights by LCHR

September 9th, 2013

KathrynThe Leadership Council for Human Rights applauds the King of Morocco’s reaction to the Moroccan National Council of Human Rights (CNDH) report on migration. The King of Morocco wants his country to address the issue of migration, refugees, trafficking in persons, foreigners in irregular administrative status, the treatment of refugee migrants, women refugees in a comprehensive and humanist manner, in keeping with the international law and within the framework of renovated multilateral cooperation.

The Moroccan National Council of Human Rights report recalls that “Morocco has always been a country of emigration and a land of immigration, and highlights Morocco’s long tradition as an immigration and host country as a result of its longstanding ties with Sub-Saharan countries”. The report also explains the national and international legal framework regulating foreigners in Morocco, particularly the constitution that guarantees the principle of non-discrimination, the right of asylum and equality of rights between nationals and foreigners.

After a deep analysis of ongoing mutations related to migrants and refugees, the CNDH calls on public authorities as well as all social actors and state partners of Morocco to take note of these new realities and to act together to develop and implement a comprehensive immigration public policy in accordance with international law.
Therefore, The CNDH recommends that this policy integrates at least four major components concerning the situation of refugees and asylum seekers, foreigners in irregular administrative status, the fight against the trafficking of persons and foreigners in irregular administrative status.

The CNDH calls for the establishment of a permanent platform for dialogue between the government and members of the national and international civil society, to allow and intensify the exchange of information, the mobilization of humanitarian assistance and legal expertise, the dissemination of good practices as well as assisted voluntary return.

Kathryn Porter congratulates Morocco for continuing to work on human rights issue and applauds the CNDH for not only proposing legislative reforms to the penal code but also for recommending that the government of Morocco launches a national survey on the phenomenon of human trafficking, develop, in a collaborative manner, a national plan of action to combat human trafficking, develop a specific training program to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials in their fight against human trafficking, strengthen cooperation between various departments involved in the fight against human trafficking (border police, national security, gendarmerie, justice, etc.), in addition to strengthening partnerships with organizations against human trafficking and for the protection of victims of all forms of abuse.

The LCHR encourages the countries in the region to learn from this courageous initiative and strive for the protection of human rights irrespective of race, ethnic identity, color or religious belief.

PS. More details on the CNDH report to come..

Morocco continues to fight terrorism

August 18th, 2013

The Leadership Council for Human Rights applauds the Moroccan police for dismantling a terrorist ring associated with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, AQIM

On Aug.16, the police in Morocco dismantled a terrorist ring, composed of four members in different cities, namely Fes, Taounat, Meknes and Tiznit.

A press release from the Moroccan Ministry of Interior reported that the cell was dismantled after investigations led by the General directorate of territorial surveillance (DGST). The cell was commanded by well known militant members of extremist groups. These jihadists are known to be working with leaders of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They have been commissioned to hire and recruit new members.

The source also reported that the ring leader was a primary contact for recruitment and hiring of new members some of whom have been tied to fighters of Al Qaeda in Syria. He also encouraged others to carry out terrorist acts against state institutions.

At this pivotal time when the rest of the world is erupting into flames, it is encouraging to know that our Ally Morocco continues to be vigilant and serve as a constructive force to end terrorism and crimes against the innocent.