BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (KUNA) — EU interior and justice ministers Friday adopted a decision authorising the European Commission to open negotiations for the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and Morocco on the facilitation of the issuance of short-stay visas.
The ministers in a statement released tonight after the end of their two-day meeting did not give further details about the visa negotiations.
They also adopted a decision on the signing of the agreement between the European Union and Canada on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record (PNR).
PNR is a record of each passenger travel requirements which contains all information necessary to enable reservations to be processed and controlled by air carriers (including name, dates of travel, ticket information, address and phone numbers, means of payment used, credit card number, travel agent, seat number and baggage information).
The European Parliament will be required to give its consent before the decision on the conclusion of the agreement can be adopted. (end) nk.bs KUNA 062231 Dec 13NNNN
Helmer is prexy of the Marrakech short film competition
Noir thriller, “Zero,” by 49-year old helmer,Noureddine Lakhmari has topped the Moroccan box office since its release in December 2012, generating over 200,000 admissions.
SEE MORE: Marrakech Film Festival
“Zero” played at the Marrakech and Dubai fests in December 2012, garnered five awards at the Tangier national film festival in February, including best film and best actor, and won jury prize at the Tetouan Mediterranean film festival. (more…)
AFP Morocco ‘kiss’ teens acquitted with reprimand
Rabat (AFP) – A Moroccan court Friday acquitted three teenagers accused of public indecency after pictures of two of them kissing were posted on Facebook, but reprimanded the couple, their lawyer told AFP.
The teens had risked possible prison sentences of five years under the kingdom’s penal code, in a case that drew strong criticism from international rights groups and sparked a storm of online protest in socially conservative Morocco. (more…)
The latest Corruption Risk Index from risk analysis firm Maplecroft shows little change, with many developing economies still performing poorly thanks to widespread corruption.
Maplecroft’s Corruption Risk Index (CRI) 2013 indicates little change among growth economies in their fight against corruption, with Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs) and Africa continuing to show high levels of corruption and retaining their positions as the most ‘extreme risk’ countries, fuelling investor concerns about the ‘malignant’ nature of corruption on the functioning of businesses. (more…)
Security | 2013-12-06
Libyan bloggers discuss militia threat
Libyan commentators are speaking out against the threat posed by armed Islamists.
Terrorism | 2013-12-06
Ansar al-Sharia changes Tunisia tactics
As Tunisian security forces hunt fugitive terrorist Abou Iyadh, talk of possible New Year terror attacks have citizens on edge. (more…)
RABAT: A long-awaited law to combat violence against women is currently under study in Morocco, but the Islamistled government has had to revise its proposals after sharp criticism from rights groups. A preliminary version of the bill, which is still in the drafting stage, threatens prison sentences of up to 25 years for perpetrators of violence against women. In addition, the bill would take unprecedented steps towards criminalising sexual harassment, with those convicted risking possible three-year jail terms. As in numerous other Arab countries, sexual harassment of women is commonplace in Morocco, despite the adoption of a new constitution in 2011 that enshrines gender equality and urges the state to promote it. But despite the progress that this new law would represent, women’s associations have strongly criticised the proposed legislation.
In particular, they accuse Bassima Hakkaoui, the minister for women’s affairs-herself a member of the ruling Islamist Party of Justice and Development-of excluding them from the drafting of the bill. “We have waited for years for this law and we are now very disappointed by its content,” said Najat Errazi, who heads the Moroccan Association for Women’s Rights, speaking in Casablanca at a meeting to discuss the bill. According to a study published by the state planning commission (HCP) this week, nearly nine percent of women in Morocco have been physically subjected to sexual violence at least once. Sexual violence of a physical or psychological nature has affected some 25 percent of women overall, and a startling 40 percent among 18- to 24-year-olds.
Last year, Hakkaoui acknowledged the problem by stating that six million women have suffered physical or verbal violence, more than half inflicted by their husbands. Sara Soujar, another activist speaking at the meeting in Casablanca, argued that the bill fails to include provisions relating to single women. “This category is totally absent… Reading the text, you get the impression that violence basically only affects married or divorced women, even though others may be more exposed,” she said. Her concerns resonate with the findings of the HCP study, that around one in every two unmarried women in Morocco was subjected to sexual violencewhether physical or verbal-during the year that it was carried out. “Young women who work in factories or as housemaids, many of whom are minors, are no less exposed,” Soujar said.—AFP
by Ali Haidar
The thousands of Moroccan Sahrawis sequestered in the Tindouf camps in south-western Algeria no longer stand the dire living conditions and insecurity imposed on them by the Polisario and the Algerian army for over 38 years.
According to the forum of support to autonomy advocates in Tindouf (FORSATIN,) an underground Sahrawi association opposed to the diktat of the Polisario, more than 6,000 refugees have lately fled the Tindouf camps and gone to Mauritania under the pretext of participating in the elections recently held in this country. (more…)
Saudi Arabian business men consider Morocco as a hub to export towards the countries of North-Western Africa.
The news was revealed by the president of the Morocco-Saudi business council, Khalid Benjelloun, at the end of a meeeting between the Moroccan confederation of industries (CGEM) and a delegation of Saudi economic operators in Casablanca. (more…)
Xinhua News Agency
RABAT, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) — Morocco expressed concern over an amendment of a 1993 agreement signed between the Vatican and Israel on the heritage of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem, the royal cabinet said in a statement Wednesday.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco, chairman of the Jerusalem committee in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, stressed in a message to Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that “this move is likely to impede efforts made to maintain a climate that is appropriate for the success of the (Israeli- Palestinian) peace talks,” according to the official news agency MAP. (more…)
[AFP/Pierre-Phillipe Marcou] Spanish police will join their Moroccan colleagues for a new strategic project announced December 1st in Madrid.
By Hassan Benmehdi in Casablanca for Magharebia – 05/12/2013
Moroccan and Spanish security forces are working together to confront shared threats.
Morocco and Spain on Sunday (December 1st) announced plans to create a joint police panel.
National Security (DGSN) head Bouchaib Rmail and his Spanish counterpart Ignacio Cosido agreed on the measure last week in Cordoba during their first bi-lateral security meeting.
Rmail pointed out that “fruitful co-operation” between Moroccan and Spanish security services had already “yielded positive results” in the fight against crimes that “threaten both countries.” (more…)
Security | 2013-12-05
Zidan pledges security for Derna
With Libyans forcing armed militias out of their towns, authorities in Tripoli are promising to fill the security vacuum.
Terrorism | 2013-12-05
Morocco, Spain partner against terrorism
Moroccan and Spanish security forces are working together to confront shared threats. (more…)
The Peninsula Qatar
Doha: A newly released book titled Arab Media in a Turbulent World explores the changing media trends in the region. The book is authored by a group of journalists, academics and intellectuals.
It contains perspectives of media experts such as Khalid Al Sayed, Dr Khalid Al Jaber, Dr Abdel Mutaleb Siddiq Mekki, Prof Barrie Gunter, Prof Noha Mellor, Dr Mohamed Arafa, Dr Philip Auter and Dr Khalid Al Haroub. (more…)
NGOs criticise Islamist-led government for trying to revise a long-awaited bill aiming to fight violence against women.
Women’s rights activists in Morocco have criticised the Islamist-led government for excluding them from drafting a proposed legislation to combat violence against women and for seeking to dilute the bill through changes. (more…)
Elections | 2013-12-04
Algerians divided over elections
Although President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has not yet announced his candidacy, the Algerian street is buzzing with debate over the potential fourth term.
Security | 2013-12-04
Mauritania, Niger discuss security
Faced with a shared threat, Mauritania and Niger are calling on others to back their fight against al-Qaeda. (more…)
While many western tourists are reluctant to visit the Middle East, Morocco escaped much of the region’s trouble to remain viable.
John Scott Lewinski
Morocco offers a rare glimpse of Middle Eastern life with plenty of proper accommodations.
The North African country of Morocco is one of few to have escaped the Arab Spring. Its liberal King, Mohammed VI instituted political reforms almost instantly after the uprising in Tunisia. Instead of clinging to power, he diluted it, drawing up a new constitution, giving Morocco’s Prime Minister and parliament more muscle. (more…)