King Mohammed VI commits to Morocco’s ’march towards democracy & development,’ looks to ’new Maghreb order’ based on integration, openness

* Seeks to preserve Morocco’s cultural heritage and Islamic identity of temperance and moderation; US—“Supports Morocco’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the rule of law, human rights, good governance” *

Washington, DC (Aug. 1, 2013) — In an address to the nation on the 14th anniversary of his accession to the throne, King Mohammed VI highlighted Morocco’s progress across a broad range of reforms and initiatives aimed at achieving steady economic growth, sustainable development, and social solidarity, while promoting good governance under the rule of law.  The King emphasized the importance of safeguarding the spirit of Morocco’s practice of Islam, which he explained is based on the Maliki rite and the temperance and moderation of its Islamic identity.  The King committed to continuing to lead Moroccans on “your march towards democracy and development, in order to make Morocco stronger, unified, advanced and prosperous.”

King Mohammed VI cited Morocco’s efforts to strengthen relations with traditional partners and open up opportunities with new ones.  The King said he looked forward to “the emergence of a new Maghreb order” to enable North African nations “to build a common future” based on integration and free movement of people, goods, and capital to meet “ongoing regional changes.”

In a congratulatory message on behalf of President Obama and the American people, Secretary of State John Kerry, praised “the strong and enduring friendship” Morocco and the US have enjoyed for more than 225 years. He said that “during this time of profound change in the region, the US supports Morocco’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the rule of law, human rights, and good governance. We look forward to building on our long history of relations as we work together to advance common goals.”

On foreign policy, King Mohammed VI also highlighted Morocco’s efforts to build “a strategic partnership” with the Gulf states; work for Palestinian-Israeli peace; strengthen ties with other African nations; pursue a “strategy of openness” with European partners, welcoming heads-of-state from France and Spain; and provide a voice for Africa and the Arab world on the UN Security Council. He confirmed Morocco’s “solidarity with the Syrian people” and support for Mali to “protect the unity of its territory and its national identity against radicalism and terrorism.”

On the domestic front, King Mohammed VI cited a host of national achievements, including:

  • Implementing Constitutional reforms and promoting good governance under the rule of law;
  • Developing infrastructure, including drinking water and electricity for towns and villages, ports, airports, road networks, and rail and urban transport;
  • Becoming a producer of renewable energy through solar and wind power programs that are environmentally friendly and reduce Morocco’s dependence on energy imports.
  • Attracting investment to expand Morocco’s industrial base, job opportunities, & public-private partnerships;
  • Expanding tourism, which has continued to grow despite the global financial crisis;
  • Modernizing the agricultural sector  and promoting the fisheries sector;
  • Promoting the National Initiative for Human Development projects to reduce social disparities, as well as national literacy programs, which this year will empower one and a half million people;
  • Safeguarding Morocco’s temperate, moderate practice of Islam;
  • Reforming the judicial system, which now has a blueprint to press ahead;
  • Advancing human rights through the National Human Rights Council (CNDH); and
  • Optimizing opportunities for advanced regionalization through the dynamic regional development model being prepared by Economic, Social & Environmental Council (CESE).

*For full text: http://www.map.ma/en/activites-royales/full-text-royal-speech-delivered-tuesday-occasion-throne-day

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CONTACT:  Garth Neuffer, 202.470.2055

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.  For more, please visit www.moroccoonthemove.com

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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