Overview of Morocco Foreign Policy and Morocco – United States Foreign Relations

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Overview of Morocco Foreign Policy and Morocco -United States Foreign Relations
Morocco has been a loyal member of the Arab League. However, it has often attempted to serve as intermediary on peace issues.

Morocco Foreign policy

Morocco Foreign policy and Morocco United States foreign relations

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> Morocco Broader Foreign Relations

Neither the United States nor Morocco has ever forgotten that Morocco was the first nation in the world to recognize the United States as a new nation in 1777, even before it had won its war of independence. Morocco was also the first nation to enter into a treaty of friendship with the United States after it adopted its constitution.

This treaty of friendship is the oldest continuous treaty of friendship still in force in the world. It was achieved under Sultan Mohamed Ben Abdellah (1710-1790) after whom Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes is named. United States and Morocco foreign Policy

Another tie with the United States arises from the 1943 Casablanca conference between US President Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Charles DeGaulle to map out the strategy for the Second World War then going on. President Roosevelt hosted a dinner party in honor of the Sultan Mohammed V as the leader of the host country.

This lent considerable prestige to the Moroccan claims to throw off the French Protectorate—much to the displeasure of Churchill and DeGaulle who were also in attendance. At this dinner, President Roosevelt suggested exchanges of students between Morocco and the United States. This has created a special tie between the two nations that remains to this day.

Morocco has been a loyal member of the Arab League. However, it has often attempted to serve as intermediary on peace issues

During the remainder of the Second World War, Moroccans worked closely with the Western Allies, and after independence in 1956, Mohammed V aligned with the United States. (Morocco History)

Throughout the Cold War, several US air and naval bases were maintained on Moroccan soil. Though most of those bases are now gone, there has been talk that the headquarters of the new US African command may be located in Morocco. Presently, US Marines help to train Moroccan armed forces, and US military forces conduct training exercises in Moroccan deserts.

Morocco receives significant financial aid and support from both the United States and the EU. In 2006, Morocco receives approximately $25 mil. annual economic development grants from the US, and in 2006 received a five-year grant of $697.5 mil. for economic development projects from the US Millennial Grant program.

EU direct grants for development projects in Morocco totaled 220 mil. Euros in 2010, and are likely to rise in 2011.

Morocco Broader Foreign Relations

Morocco has generally played a low-key role in other foreign relations issues. It has been a loyal member of the Arab League. However, it has often attempted to serve as intermediary on peace issues, and has encouraged Israeli tourism in Morocco. It strongly backs the Palestinians and the Arab League on their demands for a just settlement of the Palestinian issue on the West Bank and Gaza.

In recent years, as part of its efforts to increase trade relations, Morocco has been reaching out to many other countries to encourage tourism to Morocco as well as trade and investment. China has recently become a major trading partner with Morocco.

Morocco is working on stronger relations with Russia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and is working assiduously to complete trade agreements with sub-Saharan African nations. Morocco has received many development grants and loans from multiple international sources.Mohammed VI French Foreign Policy

Western Sahara

Morocco’s one point of conflict in foreign policy is over the status of Southwest Africa, an area of land between Morocco and Mauritania. This area is contested by a local group called Polisario, which desires independence.

Polisario is supported by Algeria, as a result of which the border of Morocco with Algeria is closed. Morocco has recently offered a plan for autonomy of the region, though under Morocco for foreign policy purposes.

This plan has been praised by Spain, France, the U.K., the United States, the EU, and the UN, but has not yet been accepted. Morocco and Polisario are presently in negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.


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