Moroccan King: 2017 Marks Return to Sahara Dispute Settlement Principles


Rabat – The year 2017 has been the year of “clarity” and return to the standards and principles of the settlement of the dispute over the Moroccan claim to the Sahara, said King Mohammed VI.

“Whereas 2016 was the year of resolve and intransigence, during which we matched action with words to thwart the schemes designed to impinge on our rights, 2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the dispute over the ‘Moroccanness’ of the Sahara,” declared the monarch on Sunday in a speech delivered to the nation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.

He added that this “firm unambiguous” policy has helped put the process back on the right track, thereby halting the plots designed to divert it into the unknown.

King Mohammed VI noted that this was confirmed by the UN Secretary General’s report, as well as the Security Council resolution adopted last April, be it in terms of commitment to the frame of reference for a settlement, the appreciation of the autonomy proposal as a negotiating framework, or the determination of the legal and political responsibilities of the real party concerned in this regional dispute.

He underlined that the “proactive, composed and firm manner in which we settled the Guerguerat crisis thwarted the efforts to change the facts on the ground in our Sahara and helped put to rest the myth of the liberated territories peddled by Morocco’s enemies.”

In parallel with these developments, international support for the autonomy proposal has continued, as illustrated by the growing number of states that have withdrawn their recognition of the “fictional entity” and by the legal settlement concerning Morocco’s economic partnership with a number of influential powers, he added.

The Moroccan King praised in this respect the serious work and effective action undertaken by the Moroccan diplomatic service to defend the country’s best interests and enhance its credibility.

King Salman Meets Moroccan King in Tangier

Tangier- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received the king of Morocco at his residence in the city of Tangier on Saturday, and they discussed topics of mutual interest and showcased bilateral ties between the two countries.

King Mohammed VI welcomed King Salman who in turn thanked him for his hospitality.

Present during the reception were Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Khalid, Prince Mansour bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Prince Talal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Prince Turki bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prince Rakan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Ambassador to Morocco Abdulaziz bin Mohiuddin Khoja and other officials.

Morocco King Slams Development Delays in Al-Hoceima


London – Morocco King Mohammed VI has expressed his anger and concern over failure to implement a development program in the port area of Al-Hoceima.

In a statement on Sunday, the king voiced his discontent with the slow pace of development projects, which fall within the framework of his “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” initiative.

The program, which was signed in October 2015, was aimed at launching investments into a region that has seen several protests over unemployment and perceived state neglect.

The Moroccan king instructed the ministers of finance and interior to assign the Territorial Administration and the Inspectorate General of Finance with conducting research and investigation into the failure to execute the program and determining the parties to be held accountable.

King Mohammed chaired on Sunday a cabinet session at the royal palace in Casablanca. It was the first session of its kind since the formation of the government led by Prime Minister Saadeddine al-Othmani in March.

The king also cancelled the annual leave of ministers involved in the program so they could follow up on its progress.

The concerned ministries include the ministry of agriculture and maritime fishing, ministry of national education and vocational training, ministry of health, ministry of youth and sports, ministry of transport, ministry of tourism, ministry of culture, ministry of housing and city policy, ministry of environment and the ministry of water.

The king also stressed the need to avoid the “politicization of social and development projects or their exploitation for narrow political purposes”.

Meanwhile, King Mohammed appointed new ambassadors to 12 different states, including an ambassador to Saudi Arabia and another to the United Nations in Geneva.

The appointment of new ambassadors came in accordance with Article N. 49 of the constitution and by recommendation of the head of government and initiative from the minister of foreign affairs.

King Salman Receives Morocco’s FM in Jeddah

Jeddah- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz received on Tuesday in Jeddah Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita who conveyed salutations of King Mohammed VI.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Dr. Ibrahim a-Assaf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Obaid Madani.

Macron in Morocco on His First Official Visit Outside Europe

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron waves as he arrives to attend a handover ceremony with outgoing President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Paris – In his first official visit outside Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in Rabat on Wednesday to meet with King Mohammed VI.

The visit was seen as an initiative by the new French president to stress his keenness to preserve excellent relations with the African country.

In parallel, the Elysee Palace announced in a statement that Macron held a phone conversation with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, adding that they agreed to boost their counter-terrorism cooperation and continue efforts to restore peace and stability in Libya and Mali.

The statement added that the discussions touched on a number of issues including the Libyan crisis and the situation in the Sahel region.

The two officials underlined their “common resolve to unify efforts to eradicate terrorism in the Sahel region,” according to the statement.

“The talks represented an opportunity for the two presidents to confirm their desire to reinforce friendship and cooperation relations between Algeria and France,” it added

In the same context, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian conducted a two-day visit to Algeria on Monday.

This visit was the first of a French official since the election of Macron.

Meanwhile, sources at the Elysee said that the French president and King Mohammed VI would develop bilateral relations and cooperation in security and the fight against terrorism.

Morocco Supports Kuwaiti Mediation to Resolve Gulf Crisis

Morocco King Mohammed VI attends a signing ceremony at the Royal Palace in Marrakech, Morocco, October 22, 2007

Rabat- Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita arrived in Jeddah on Tuesday to deliver a message from King Mohammed VI to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, within efforts to resolve the crisis between Gulf countries and Qatar.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah, received the Moroccan foreign minister at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, as reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The agency added that Bourita delivered a verbal message from King Mohammed VI to the Kuwaiti emir.

“The King expressed his full support to the Emir’s efforts in defusing tension amongst Gulf countries,” he said, as quoted by KUNA.

Bourita arrived in Kuwait following a visit on Monday to Abu Dhabi, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Morocco’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Bourita had delivered a “verbal message” from the Moroccan king to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, without elaborating on the content of the message.

On Sunday, King Mohammed VI urged all parties concerned with the diplomatic Gulf crisis to “exercise restraint” and “show wisdom with a view to easing tensions and resolving the crisis”.

King Salman Invites Arab Leaders to Participate in Arab, Islamic and US Summit


Jeddah – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz sent messages to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Iraqi President Fuad Masum and King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco inviting them to attend the Arab, Islamic and US Summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia.

The message to Essebsi was delivered by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during an audience at Gartaj palace in Tunis on Monday, stated the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

During the meeting, Jubeir conveyed the greetings of King Salman to the Tunisian president, government and people. In turn, the president sent his greetings to the Custodian, Saudi government and people.

King Salman also sent King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco a message which included an invitation to attend the summit. The message was received by Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita during a meeting with Jubeir. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.

Masum’s message was delivered by the Saudi Chargé d’Affaires to Iraq Abdulaziz al-Shammari to Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari during a meeting. The two officials also reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them.

Essebsi’s message to the King was delivered by the Tunisian president’s representative in the Kingdom, Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi, reported SPA. It was delivered during his meeting with King Salman at al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

The audience was attended by Minister of State Ibrahim bin al-Assaf, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar bin Obaid Madani and Tunisian Ambassador to the Kingdom Lotfi Ben Gaied.

In other news, under the auspices of the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdulaziz University (KAU) announced its annual exhibition “Prince Nayif’s Values Exhibition”.

This exhibition is held annually in order to commemorate the late Prince Nayif’s pioneering role and the great contributions he made to Islam, Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

King Mohammed VI, Francois Hollande Reiterate Trust in Bilateral Partnership


Rabat – Moroccan King Mohammed VI held talks with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday at the Elysee Palace as the two parties reiterated the depth of partnership between their two countries.

Elysee sources said that the talks discussed political and cultural affairs and lasted for 20 minutes before the king and the president headed to a luncheon in the presence of members of the governments, friends of Morocco and France and members of civil society, in a symbol of the strong and multifaceted ties between the two countries, said a statement by the Moroccan Royal Office.

The statement noted that the two heads of state expressed their mutual feelings of esteem and respect, which they said were the basis of the renewal of French-Moroccan partnerships in security, sustainable development, culture and education.

The two leaders expressed their confidence in the vitality of this exceptional partnership, which maintains a strategic scope for the two countries bilaterally and also at the level of Euro-Mediterranean and African development, the statement added.

Hollande congratulated King Mohammed on his Kingdom’s return to the African Union and welcomed Morocco’s strong initiatives towards the development of the continent.

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

The Moroccan King was the first head of state to be received by Hollande following the latter’s election in May 24, 2012.

This visit comes during Hollande’s final days in the Elysee Palace as his mandate is expected to end in mid-May.

Morocco, Cuba Resume Diplomatic Ties after 37 Years


Rabat – Morocco and Cuba have restored their diplomatic relations after 37 years, announced the Moroccan news agency.

It said that the two countries’ permanent representatives at the United Nations signed an agreement in New York to resume the ties that were severed in 1976 after Havana recognized the Polisario Front’s “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic”.

The agreement stated:”The government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the government of the Cuban republic, who share a mutual desire to develop ties of friendship and cooperation in political, economic and social fields, have resumed their diplomatic ties on the level of ambassadors.”

The agreement, written in Spanish, English and Arabic, became effective immediately after it was signed by the two sides.

A Moroccan Foreign Ministry statement said that the kingdom restored its ties with Cuba based on the orders of King Mohammed VI

“The decision is part of royal directives to achieve open diplomacy with partners and in new geographic fields,” it added.

The monarch also ordered opening a Moroccan embassy in Havana.

King Mohammed had paid a visit to Cuba last week.

The Moroccan news agency noted that the restoration of ties with the Caribbean country came shortly after Morocco rejoined the African Union.

“Moroccan diplomacy has entered a new significant phase under the leadership of King Mohammed. It will steer away from outdated and petty calculations and ideologies,” said the news agency.

New Moroccan Government of 39 Members, Including 9 Women

Rabat- Morocco’s King Mohammad VI named a new government on Wednesday ending a six-month political deadlock that followed October’s elections.

Prime Minister Saad Eddine al-Othmani, second-in-command of the Justice and Development Party [PJD] that triumphed in the elections, will lead a cabinet formed of members from six political parties: The PJD, the National Rally of Independents (RNI), the Popular Movement (MP), and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), who were present in the previous government, in addition to the Constitutional Union (UC) and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP).

According to MAP state news agency, several key ministerial posts remained unchanged and under the control of the RNI.

The cabinet comprises 39 ministers, nine of whom are women.

RNI Leader Aziz Akhannouch kept his position as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, while RNI members Mohammed Boussaid and Moulay Hafid Elalamy remained as heads of the Ministry of Finance and Economy and Ministry of Trade and Industry, respectively.

Abdelouafi Laftit, former governor of Rabat and opponent of the PJD, was named Minister of Interior. Former Interior Minister Mohammed Hassad was appointed Minister of Education.

The PJD lost its control of the key Ministry of Justice and Public Freedoms, previously led by Mustafa Ramid, who was appointed as Minister of State in charge of human rights.

The PJD has received ten ministerial positions, including state ministry for human rights, ministry of energy and mines, ministry of equipment and transport, ministry of family and social development, ministry of labor and vocational integration, and ministry to the head of government in charge of public affairs and governance, in addition to ministry to the head of government in charge of relations with parliament and civil society, as well as three secretarial posts.

The RNI received seven portfolios, which included, among others, the ministry of justice and freedoms, the ministry of economy and finance and the ministry of agriculture.