11/13/2013 (press release: media1press) // Mourad Beni-ich
On Tuesday November 19th, 2013, a new chapter will begin in the oldest diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Morocco, the Monarch will be received by President Barack Obama in the White House on Thursday November 22st.
Every time the issue of relationship between the two countries is brought up, there is always a historical fact that characterizes this powerful relation: Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States.
Since then, the two countries have always deployed tremendous efforts to consolidate their already excellent bilateral relations. This strategic historical partnership has undoubtedly given a fresh impetus to the two countries and has opened up vast promising prospects.
This visit is part of strengthening the historical and strategic ties between the two friendly countries for over two centuries, as well as the special relations that have always existed between the White House and the Royal Palace. It also seek to give momentum to the partnership between the two parties in the different areas and reinforce bilateral strategic dialogue.
The visit will also be an occasion for the two leaders to discuss regional and international issues of shared interest in order to foster coordination and cooperation and undertake joint initiatives to address the challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, mainly extremism and terrorism, and promote stability and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Morocco has set its standards very high when it absorbed wisely the destroying waves of the Arab Spring. And whilst every single Arab country was affected by the anger of citizens, Morocco knew how to implement immediate reforms in a perfect timing to respond to all the demands which people brought to the streets. In a very short period of time, Morocco regained its social stability again.
Morocco has always been a vital ally for the U.S. in Africa and a pivotal to its interest in the entire region, more especially in the Moroccan efforts to tackle all strongholds of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), something that every country in North Africa failed to fight in an efficient manner.
The U.S. administration praised the commitments made by its major non-NATO ally Morocco regarding institutional reforms, economic progress, human rights, and the war on terror. This decade has seen Morocco launch an audacious foreign policy, which always remained faithful to the values of the country. It has promoted a liberal model, reinforced during Hassan II’s reign, which has later grown into a socio-liberal model due to international changes.
It is the latest result of an internal evolution and shows the Royal family’s will to establish “social proximity.” In other words, Morocco has tried to address issues on every front: poverty, marginality, reintegration of inmates and the recognition of the large poor masses.
American leaders and politiciains have continuously voiced their support and satisfaction over the economic and social reforms implemented in Morocco. To them, these reforms combined with democratic and human rights policies, justify their support. They have praised every change that has taken place in the country, including the Parliamentary majority that has allowed the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) to access power and run the government.
Cautious over stability and security in Morocco, they believe they have been given enough guarantees by a country that has done its best to avoid falling into the vicious circle of violence and revolution. Therefore, Morocco is seen as an ally, a shield against Terrorism in general and AQIM in particular.
For the U.S. administration, it is crucial to build a united North Africa; a region filled with potential, not the least of which economic. In a few years, the Maghreb population will top 100 million, creating a huge market with exponential opportunities. A united Maghreb would also ward away the crisis and destabilization forces threatening the region, and for all of this to happen, the U.S. has understood that is imperative for Algeria and Morocco to get along.
This reconciliation cannot happen unless a solution to the Sahara conflict is found, which is the main bone of contention between the two countries. Although Sahara was claimed by Morocco, its status is contested by the “Polisario Front”; a band of mercenaries backed mainly by Algeria.
Many observers consider this official visit as a strong message that the U.S.-Moroccan bilateral relations are tighter and stronger than Algerians and Separatists have been anticipating, especially after the U.S. administration recommended more powers to the troops of MINURSO in the Southern Moroccan territories. And although President Obama withdrew the U.S. proposal to the United Nations (UN), yet the initial proposal by Ambassador Rice left a bad taste and hard feelings in Morocco. This State visit is to prove that no matter what disagreements the two countries might encounter, yet the historical and current economic and political ties are far stronger to be shaken by the efforts of the Separatists.
This Official visit will strengthen the economic and political ties between Morocco and the U.S. and will open new ventures to American investors and business to explore the sole stable nation in the Arab world and North Africa. There are many business opportunities in Morocco and the U.S. entrepreneurs and businessmen are always seeking a stable and safe environment to invest their money and expand. And there is no better than Morocco to do just that.
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