Why Morocco matters to The United States

Prepared by: Mourad Hasbaoui

Associate political science researcher

Dear Mr. Future President;

On January 21st 2017, you will be sworn in as the 45th President of The United States of America .As soon you assume the presidency; you undoubtedly will have to face an array of challenges including a turnover of world leaders, healthcare reform issues and the radical transformation of economy. Yet, the foreign policy will certainly constitute a major ultimatum as the turbulence rages in the Middle East. This will probably define your administration and your legacy. Four years on, the Arab Spring has degenerated into a catastrophe and the United States has lost many allies due to the mishandling of U.S policies in that part of the world. Morocco has remained steadfast as one of the most critical U.S allies and seems to come through the storm in the region. Perhaps the most dynamic aspect in our long standing relationship Mr. President is that The Kingdom of Morocco was the first country in the world to formally acknowledge the United States as independent nation in 1777 and it is crucial to note that the Kingdom has been a loyal indispensable American ally ever since.

This is why Morocco should matter to the United States.

Economy and Trade:

According to a report published in May 1st, 2014 by the Office of The United States Trade Representative. Morocco was the United States’ 57th largest goods export market in 2013 and in the same year U.S goods exports to Morocco in 2013 were $2.3 billion, up 60%($130 million)from 2012 and up 392% from 2003. U.S export to Morocco are up 379% from 2005 and for import U.S goods imports from Morocco totaled $977 million in 2013, a 4.8% increase ($45 million) from 2012 and up 154% from 2003.US imports from Morocco are up 119% from2005.Not mention that the U.S goods trade surplus with Morocco was $1.3billion in 2013, a 6.8% increase ($85million) over 2012.[1].

Moderation and Religion:

The Moroccan’s constitution guarantees and protects the status of religion and ethnic minorities, a legitimate protection that nearly no other Muslim county in the Arab world has. Morocco still has long way to Democracy, but it continues to serve as a model for reform and moderation. The Kingdom has adopted a very comprehensive counter radicalization strategy that goes beyond just forcefully fight the extremism. In 2015 his Majesty King Mohammed VI presides the inauguration of Mohammed VI for Education of Ulemas and religion scholars to provide an accurate understanding of Islam.

Morocco and the Arab Spring:

Change has been underway before the Arab Spring. Soon after the death of Hassan II, Mohammed VI has acceded to the throne and started his own leadership style. He ended the function of Idriss Basri –the architect of Years of Lead and the former interior minister –and the formation of Equity and Reconciliation Commission. The Arab Spring did quickly spread around the Arab world. In Morocco young group called “20th February” organized peaceful protest in 57 cities demanding more economic, social and political reforms. Instead of crashing the protests, king Mohammed VI doubled the economic subsidies for cooking oil, flour and sugar .moreover, he announced the draft of new text the constitution. In 25th November 2011, Morocco held its early parliamentary election in which a moderate Islamic party “the Justice and Development” won 107 seats.

The Moroccan Sahara and Polisario:

Morocco and the movement known as Polisario have been engaged in military conflict for the control of the Sahara since 1970. A cease fire was negotiated by UN in 1991. The kingdom has proposed an autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty in which the Bush Administration qualified as a “serious and credible “[2].The Algerian government supports the Polisario despite of the group’s raise extremist policy. In Article published in the Hill in May 2011, Gabriel Edwards- the former American Ambassador in Morocco underlined that the Polisario has deployed their mercenaries to Muammar Ghadafi to fight rebels and NATO Forces in exchange of money [3]. The solution of this issue that accounts for Morocco’s interest will make the Sahel region more economically and socially more prosper and will substitute terrorism to security and stability. The rejection of Moroccan plan will cause the creation of another weak state in that region that it is already in entropy. Needless to mention that Morocco did not saved any efforts to assist some African Countries with which he maintained strong relationships. Economy, culture, security and religion are among areas where Morocco took wise decisions to enhance the prosperity and stability of the region.

Dear Mr. Future President;

Whether you are Democrat or Republican, Morocco has been an advocate for the world stability and prosperity. As emergent country in Africa , Morocco has been the model of political stability and economic development in a very turmoil region. As super power, the United states of America aiming to enhance the stability and human rights in many regions in the world, U.S should turn its relations with Morocco into consistently strategic partnership, where both governments countries cooperate in different areas to make the world in general and Africa in particular more stable and prosper.


References:

[1] Office of The United States Representative, https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/europe-middle-east/middle-east/north-africa/morocco. April.2014.Web.(accessed March 10, 2015).

[2] [5]Alexis Arieff, “Western Sahara,” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, April 14, 2013, p. 6, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS20962.pdf (accessed March 19, 2015).

[3]Edwards, Gabriel. “Mercenaries in Libya: Gadhafi’s hired Terrorists”. The Hill .May16th,2011.(accessed April 01, 2015).

 

 

 

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