King Hassan receives U.S. Under-Secretary of State
Morocco, Economics, 6/18/1998
King Hassan II received on Wednesday evening in Rabat U.S. under-secretary for global economic issues, Stuart Eizenstat, who is visiting Morocco to discuss means of upgrading economic cooperation between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by Moroccan ministers of foreign affairs and cooperation and of economy and finance.
On the same day, the U.S official conferred with Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi who renewed on the occasion the Moroccan government's commitment to implement all the institutional, economic, social and juridical components of the program it expounded before the parliament.
Youssoufi stressed the need to restart the follow-up mechanisms of the Moroccan-U.S trade and investment cooperation accords and to explore means of easing Moroccan goods access to the US market.
Stuart Eizenstat voiced his country's readiness to consolidate cooperation with Morocco in the economic, social, commercial and institutional realms.
Talks also covered the situation in the Palestinian territories and the U.S proposals to promote the Palestinian economy.
The U.S official had warned during a recent visit to Gaza and Israel that the dire economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza may further erode public support for peace in the Middle-East if the situation there is not reversed.
"Israel has benefitted greatly from the peace process. But this has not been the case for the Palestinian economy. In fact, the opposite is the case", he said adding that the Palestinian economy "has gone backward" since the signing of the Oslo accords in December 1993.
The two sides also discussed the march of the Arab maghreb Union (UMA) and Youssoufi stressed the importance Morocco grants to the promotion of Maghreban solidarity.
Set up in 1989 in Marrakesh (Morocco), UMA groups Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. The union, which aims at ensuring integration and complementarity among the five North African nations, is currently paralyzed because of Algeria's direct involvement in the Sahara issue and its backing to the Polisario Movement and the embargo imposed on libya for its alleged involvement in the bombing of a U.S. Pan-Am plane over the scottish village of lockerbie in 1988.
Eizenstat who arrived in Morocco on Wednesday will also hold talks with private sector officials on economic development, investment and trade exchanges between Morocco and the USA.
During his stay in Tunisia, Eizenstat discussed with Tunisian officials an American initiative to launch a U.S.-Maghreban Partnership.
The initiative revolves around establishing a permanent dialogue at the highest level between the USA and the Maghreban countries, encouraging these countries to lift barriers to ensure a better flow of trade exchanges and materializing inter-Maghreban complementarity leading to better political relations.
The initiative gives priority to the private sector as an engine of development and economic progress.
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