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Ledger Dispatch
05/08/2014 11:44 AM

(NAPSI)—Recent events have shown once again that Morocco is much more than beautiful beaches and colorful markets. It is also an important ally that the United States has come to rely on in the midst of the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Both the Obama administration and Congress view Morocco as an equal partner, serious about reforms at home and dedicated to advancing regional economic progress, stability and security.

A Strategic Dialogue

In early April of this year, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Morocco to co-chair meetings of the U.S.−Morocco Strategic Dialogue. At that time, he hailed Morocco's "essential leadership role" in its reform program and its proactive strategy to enhance regional security and stability in Africa and the Middle East.

He vowed that, "The U.S. stands by and will stand by this relationship every step of the way." And in the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the visit, the U.S. commended King Mohammed VI's leadership in "deepening democracy and promoting economic progress and human development."

These sentiments were later echoed at a hearing on U.S. policy toward Morocco held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

In her opening statement, Subcommittee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said, "The administration must continue to see Morocco as the potential for what other North African transitional countries can do, and we must look to glean the best practices from its approach and see how it can be implemented in neighboring countries as well."

Calling Morocco a "critical partner," Ranking Member Theodore E. Deutch (D-Fla.) said, "It's clear that Morocco is committed to taking substantial action" to improve security and stability in the Maghreb and Sahel.

A Role Model For The Region

Additional testimony before the committee focused on the two countries' successful trade and security partnership, Morocco's significant progress on human rights and political reform, its efforts to stop the spread of religious extremism, and Morocco's role as a model for other countries in the region.

The hearing also made it clear that the U.S. and Morocco are partners in working to resolve the almost 40-year-old Western Sahara dispute. Members of Congress publicly reiterated the longstanding U.S. policy of advocating for a solution based on autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty.

This information is conveyed by Beckerman on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Further information is available at the U.S. Department of Justice.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)

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