European Council on Foreign Relations
In February, the Kingdom of Morocco suspended diplomatic relations with the European Union. This extreme measure was taken in response to a December 2015 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to suspend an agricultural trade agreement between the EU and Morocco because it included the Western Sahara (WS) within its territorial scope.
While relations appear to be in a dire state, the row is almost certainly temporary – and in fact, it may provide an opportunity to create the collective pressure needed to nudge Morocco towards a more just solution of the WS issue. (more…)
Middle East Monitor
Sheikh Ali Belhadj, second in command of the Islamic Salvation Front, called on Sunday for the opening of the borders between Algeria and Morocco in order to strengthen religion, language, historical and kinship relations between the two nations, Quds Press reported.
Belhadj expressed regret because the people whom he described as reasonable and wise are unable “to communicate their opinion and (more…)
Middle East Monitor
Head of Moroccan Government Abdelilah Benkirane stressed on Sunday that defending Palestine and Islamic holy sites is the “responsibility of all Arabs and Muslims, not only the Palestinians alone”.
Speaking to Quds Press, Benkirane said: “I feel shameful whenever I speak about Palestine because they alone are paying the cost of existing around the oppressive entity [Israel].” (more…)
by Stanley Carvalho
Morocco is aiming to introduce a flexible exchange rate system in the early part of 2017, its central bank governor said on Sunday.
“We are considering the move currently from fixed exchange rate to a flexible exchange rate,” Abdellatif Jouahri told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab finance ministers event.
Jouahri said the country would work with a technical mission from the International Monetary Fund during the second half of this year as part of introducing the currency move. (more…)
Middle East and Africa
Muhammad Abdelaziz has died, but his people’s grievances still fester.
FOR forty years Muhammad Abdelaziz led his exiled people in the wilderness, promising to take them across the 1,600-mile-long Morrocan wall that bisects their homeland, and onwards to an independent Western Sahara.
He died on May 31st as far from his goal as when he began. Neither 15 years of guerrilla war nor 25 years of UN-mediated talks reversed their exodus. Mr Abdelaziz leaves (more…)
CONSIDERING the help provided to big foreign manufacturers in Morocco over the past few years, it would have taken a serious effort by them to fail. Renault, a French carmaker, for example, is thriving: of 2.8m cars it made globally last year, one in ten trundled out from its two shiny assembly plants in Tangier and Casablanca. (more…)
Morocco purchased more French arms than any country in the Maghreb in the last few years, local media reported on Friday.
According to figures released by the daily Akhbar Al Yaoum, Morocco spent 632 million euros during the period from 2011 to 2015 on French weapons.
The same source revealed that Morocco comes ahead of Algeria, which spent only 153 million euros during the same period. (more…)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Morocco signed a partnership agreement Friday in terms of technical and financial support to cope with climate change.
The agreement was signed by Moroccan minister in charge of the environment Hakima El Haite and FAO Representative in Morocco Michael George Hage.
It aims to exchange experiences to implement projects intended to strengthen capacity (more…)
By Patrick Markey and Aziz El Yaakoubi
Western Sahara independence chief Mohammed Abdelaziz took his movement through a war and diplomatic struggle, but his death leaves a new leadership facing a tough diplomatic test with a younger generation likely to be demanding change.
Abdelaziz, who died on Tuesday aged 68, will be buried on Saturday after more than three decades as leader of the Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front movement and president of its self-declared Sahrawi Republic. (more…)
Al Sharq Al awsat
ISIS fighters pictured on a militant website. AP
The Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) belonging to the national intelligence agency on Thursday announced dismantling an ISIS sleeper terrorist cell in each of the cities of Tétouan, Martil and Casablanca. The ring comprised six members.
Primary details confirm that the members are closely affiliated with ISIS off-shoot (more…)
Morocco-European Union (EU) trade turnover reached 33 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane said here Wednesday.
EU, which accounts for 52.7 percent of Morocco’s imports and 63.6 percent of exports, remains a strategic trade partner for the North African country, Benkirane said at the parliament.
He said the imports increased by 2.3 billion dollars during the 2011-2015 period, while exports increased by 3.5 billion dollars during the same time. (more…)
Rotana, a leading international hotel management company, has signed a new agreement to manage an Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana property in Morocco.
The 140-key property will be located at M Avenue, the new high-end shopping, entertainment and residential destination in Marrakech.
Catering to both business and leisure travellers, the property will feature modern facilities (more…)
By Aziz El Yaakoubi
Morocco’s Casablanca appeals court upheld a ruling placing the country’s sole oil refinery Samir into liquidation, the lawyer of the holding company that controls Samir said on Wednesday.
Samir halted production in August due to financial difficulties, then a court ruling in March placed it in liquidation and named an independent trustee to run it. (more…)
Today, France assumes the rotating presidency of the Security Council of the UN, amid efforts to stop the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and South Sudan.
The 15-member body defines the agenda for June behind closed doors, which will include discussions on threats to peace, the monitoring of the major crises and the analysis of missions of the peacekeepers of the organization.
After the program is set, the French UN ambassador, Francois Delattre, will share it with non-member countries and the press. (more…)
Travel week Canada
At once modern and medieval, Casablanca is a city of legends. Vintage film connoisseurs will be familiar with the 1942 Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart on-screen romance that took place in Morocco’s largest city.
Then, Casablanca was part of a French Protectorate, a travel destination visited only by a privileged few. Today, Casablanca beckons travelers the world over with art galleries, fine restaurants, top fashion designers (more…)