U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with King Mohammed VI of Morocco in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, November 22, 2013.  REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTX15P2WA Strategic Dialogue provides a mechanism to nations to achieve common goals and build trust in the relationship. In the case of US and Morocco, the strategic dialogue provides an avenue to openly exchange views with each other on a strategic level and to take the relationship to a more comfortable level by focussing on more agreeable issues on the menu (trade, energy etc). The second round of the US-Moroccan strategic dialogue is held on March 10 and 11 2014.

Under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, ?Morocco?US relationship has witnessed an impressive evolution ?on economic, political, social, and security fronts. ? The 2004 Free Trade Agreement, the designation of Morocco as a non?NATO Ally, and the signing of a $697.5 million Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation to reduce poverty and increase economic growth crowned that close cooperation. ??In recognition of this strong alliance, on September 13, 2012, Morocco and the United States launched a Strategic Dialogue.
Every time the issue of relationship between the United States and Morocco 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.
Throughout history, Morocco has always reiterated its keen desire to pursue consultation and coordination with the United States of America with a view to developing mechanisms to make sure their promising partnership leads to concrete projects that benefit key sectors in respective countries and serve as models of solidarity and complementarity in the region.
At the UN, the two countries? views have always converged on key international issues to promote peace and stability around the world. Morocco has always offered wise advice and even concrete actions to boost the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians in total coordination with the American administration. This has never discouraged Morocco to offer candid and honest views to put the peace process back on the negotiation table. A position that has gained Morocco a lot of credibility and respect in the eyes of the American leadership.
Since King Mohammed VI acceded to the throne on 23 July 1999, all his efforts of in-depth reform in Morocco were highly appreciated and supported by the American leadership.
Letters from former President Bush and current President Obama praising Morocco?s commitment to democracy, rule of law and sustainable development including Morocco?s continuous endeavors to set up a complementary, integrated Maghreb Union to promote a regional environment in which the people concerned can enjoy security, prosperity and stability.
Morocco shares US earnest ambition regarding the achievement of sustainable development in Africa. Morocco has always stood by American side to uphold the ideals of freedom, justice, equality and dignity, to foster good governance and shared progress, to promote the lofty human values of tolerance and intercultural, inter-faith coexistence and to reject all forms of violence, extremism and insularity.
Morocco pledged to do whatever it can to contribute to the emergence of a better, safer, more peaceful and more equitable world which is committed to upholding the principles of solidarity and to international legitimacy.
This ?parfaite entente? between the two countries resulted into the creation of the Strategic Dialogue, recognition of than a decade of peaceful reforms and stability under the leadership of King Mohammed VI. The two countries signed the Strategic Dialogue, which will not be affected by changes in administration, leadership or personnel, officially begins and builds on bilateral advances already achieved, including the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement, the Millennium Challenge Compact, and Morocco?s designation as a major non-Nato ally.
It is high time now to give a new impetus to the private sector, NGOs, think tanks, universities?from both countries to implement many of the agreements and accords reached between the two countries. Both Moroccans and Americans should now accelerate their initiatives and projects in different fields to give a meaning to excellent political relations between the two countries. An economic, cultural, educational road map should be elaborated to open doors for potential projects from both sides
Rabat is and will remain a key regional ally of Washington, particularly in the fight against terrorism and extremism. ?King Mohammed VI met President Barack Obama at the White House for the first time in November 2013.?In a Joint Statement issued following their meeting, King Mohammed VI and President Obama:

  • ?reaffirmed the strong and mutually beneficial partnership and strategic alliance between the
    United States and the Kingdom of Morocco, stressed that this important visit provides an
    opportunity to map out a new and ambitious plan for the strategic partnership, and pledged
    to advance our shared priorities of a secure, stable, and prosperous Maghreb, Africa, and
    Middle East. The two leaders also emphasized our shared values, mutual trust, common
    interests, and strong friendship, as reflected throughout our partnership.?
Speaking at the opening of a bilateral business conference in Rabat today, Moroccan Minister of Finance Mohamed Boussaid said trade between Morocco and the United States had risen four-fold between 2005 and 2012, to reach $4 billion (2.8 billion euros). ?But the minister lamented the fact that US investment in the country, which amounted to just $195 million in 2012, represented less than 0.1 percent of US investments worldwide. ?”We invite you… not just to be one our major trade partners, but to seize the opportunities available to us in the West Africa region, which is destined to experience unprecedented economic growth and development, in which Morocco plays a leading role,” Boussaid said.

? The most recent King Mohammed’s trip in West Africa came once more as a powerful testimony of tremendous credibility that Morocco enjoys in this part of the continent. ?Thereefore, Morocco has become?a gateway to Africa and is ready to welcome American invetments interested to access the African market.

If Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States, it should now be the first country to develop a strong win-win partnership with the United States.

 

Said Temsamani
Political Analyst who follows events in Morocco and across North Africa.

 

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