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Clinton thanks Morocco for “Important Role” leading international effort on Syria

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton at joint press briefing with Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad Dine El Otmani in Rabat on Sunday

US State Department, Remarks at Press Briefing (Rabat, Morocco, Feb. 26, 2012)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister, for the warm words and the gracious welcome. It is wonderful to be back in Rabat. So much has changed since my last visit to Morocco two years ago, but what has not changed is our commitment to our partnership and friendship, which goes back to 1777 when Morocco became the very first country to recognize our new nation. And the United States and Morocco have been allies and partners ever since. We collaborate on everything from trade and economic development to joint military exercises and counterterrorism efforts. So we had a long agenda today, and I would very much look forward to continuing our conversation in Washington when the minister is able to come.

I want to say a few words about two issues in particular that are of great concern to the American and Moroccan people. First, Syria. I thank the foreign minister for the important role that Morocco has played, first within the Arab League and second within the Security Council. Morocco is in a unique position to help shape the international community’s efforts, and it is imperative that we continue working today. I visited with the minister first in London about Syria. And then in Tunis, we attended together the Friends of Syria meeting.

And I want to reiterate my message to those Syrians who still support Assad, especially members of the Syrian military and business community: The longer you support the regime’s campaign of violence against your brothers and sisters, the more it will stain your honor. If you refuse, however, to prop up the regime or take part in attacks on your fellow citizens, your countrymen and women will hail you as heroes. Assad would have the Syrian people believe that it is only terrorists and extremists standing against the regime, but that is wrong. So many Syrians are suffering under this relentless shelling. All Syrians should be working together to seek a better future. That is what we hope for the Syrian people. That is what Morocco has led us in the international community in trying to achieve.  [Continue Reading…]

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