Morocco-US: Diplomatic Cordination and A Serious Strategic Dialogue

By IndepthAfrica
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Jan 9th, 2013
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Both diplomatic and economic relations between Morocco and the United States have sometimes evolved in different ways, but they have never witnessed an overall positive development  until the current reign of King Mohammed VI. Since his accession to the throne in 1999 , the Moroccan monarch has indeed done everything to reduce the distance between his country and the American giant. Certainly since the signing of the Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship 225 years ago, the first of its kind between the United States and a foreign country, the rulers of the Alawite dynasty deployed great effors to ensure good relations with Washington. But during the twelve years of the reign of Mohammed VI, the reports showed a substantial improvement to the extent that Morocco has been given the status of a major ally of the United States outside NATO. It is also the first African country to conclude in 2006 a free trade agreement with the global economic powerhouse, entering the top 5 most important Arab markets for Washington.

 

However, a new page appears open in the history of relations between the two countries. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Saad El Dine Otmani presided last September in Washington,  the first session of a strategic dialogue between Morocco and the United States. This initiative merely reflects the high degree of trust between Rabat and Washington, notwithstanding the ruling classes established in the two capitals. Especially as this strategic dialogue takes double diplomatic and economic dimension, knowing that one does not go without the other.

Speaking economy, despite the geographical distance, trade that evolved in a more or less shy considering the potential of the two countries eventually move into high gear especially following the entry into force of the Free trade Agreement nearly five years ago. In 2011, the volume of Moroccan imports from the U.S. market grew by 47% compared to 2010 to be around $ 2.86 billion, when it exports to the United States, showed an increase of 56% in 2010 compared to 2009. The United States thus become a major trading partner of Morocco after France and Spain.

 

With regard to cooperation between the United States and Morocco, particularly on the Security Council,  obviously the United States attach great value to the close cooperation on the Council, particularly with regard to Syria. The American administration highly value Morocco’s leadership in hosting the Friends of the Syrian People conference last December, which has taken some important strides towards strengthening international support for the Syrian people and the Syrian opposition. The United States also welcome the practical steps that the Moroccan leadership has taken, King Mohammed has taken, and his government, to provide medical assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan and to provide other forms of assistance.

 

With the launch of this strategic dialogue, analysts say, these exchanges and political coordination will surely be doped and therefore political and diplomatic relations between Rabat and Washington will strengthen as they have ever been in the past.

 

Said Temsamani

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