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Morocco Celebrates 59th Anniversary of Independence

Washington, DC (November 18, 2014) — Today Morocco celebrates the 59th anniversary of its independence from France.

It was on November 18, 1955, just two days after returning from years of exile in Madagascar, that King Mohammed V delivered a speech at the Tour Hassan in Rabat proclaiming the end of the French protectorate, and began reforms aimed at transforming Morocco into a constitutional monarchy.

“We congratulate Morocco on this special occasion,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “In its nearly sixty years of independence, much has been accomplished under the leadership of the late King Mohammed V, the late King Hassan II, and now under King Mohammed VI. Today the country is a regional leader, showing strong economic growth and a tried and true commitment to democratic reform. And Morocco remains one of the United States’ most cherished allies in the region.”

In 1777 Morocco became the first country to formally recognize the newly independent United States; and in 1786, the US signed its first treaty of commerce and friendship with Morocco – the longest-standing such treaty with any nation. More recently, the Morocco‐US relationship has advanced on economic, political, social, and security fronts, with the 2004 Free Trade Agreement, the designation of Morocco as a major non‐NATO Ally, the signing of a $697.5 million Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the launch in 2012 of a Strategic Dialogue—one of about two-dozen such agreements in existence. Morocco has been on a steady path of reform for more than two decades and under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, who acceded to the throne in 1999, the pace of reform has accelerated, with the passing of stronger women’s rights laws, a new Constitution, and other milestones. Morocco is a major destination for international conferences, cultural events, and development initiatives, not to mention the site of numerous films and television specials. This month Morocco is hosting the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the second World Human Rights Forum.

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Contact: Jordana Merran, 301.873.4484

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.

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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