US president speaks of Morocco-US partnership and Morocco's regional example
Morocco-USA, Politics, 9/7/1998
US President Bill Clinton, renewed in a letter to the US Congress the importance of partnership between Morocco and the United States of America.
The US Chief executive said in the letter, which came in response to a July 29 correspondence from 90 members of the US Congress, "I agree with your assessment of the important partnership between our two countries."
"As you are aware, Morocco and the United States share a strong commitment to advancing peace, stability, prosperity and democracy. Morocco plays a key role in the Middle East peace process, and actively participated in the Gulf War coalition and in multilateral peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and Bosnia," Clinton said.
In recent years, Morocco has adopted a new constitution and elected a new bicameral parliament. Earlier this year, King Hassan II appointed the first opposition prime minister in modern Morocco's history, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, who recently announced his determination to reinforce and develop the culture of human rights in morocco.
"Regarding economic reform, Morocco continues to make progress in the areas of budget deficit reduction, inflation, privatization, and trade and investment. In June 1997, undersecretary of state (Stuart) Eizenstat announced our intention to develop a new economic partnership to promote the market potential of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria," Clinton's letter said.
President Clinton also considers that Sahara issue a major challenge facing Morocco, saying, "One great challenge Morocco faces is to find a peaceful sustainable solution to the question of the Western Sahara. In September 1997, Morocco recommitted itself to the UN settlement process under the Houston accords. My administration continues to urge Morocco to work with the UN and the secretary general's personal envoy, James Baker, as the process moves forward."
Last July 29, ninety members of the US Congress, including influential members of the House of Representatives, addressed a letter to President Clinton urging him "to undertake all appropriate steps to strengthen American - Moroccan cooperation" on the basis of shared values and interests.
The congressmen, representing both the majority Republican party and the Democratic party, recalled the long-standing ties existing between the United States and Morocco, "a steadfast ally to Washington." They also praised the kingdom for having "consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to peace, stability and constitutional democracy."
"As a tolerant, multi-ethnic Islamic society, Morocco continues to stand as a bulwark against the extremism prevalent in the region," the congressmen wrote, adding that "Morocco's commitment to democracy and human rights is an example for the region" and that the kingdom was "the first nation in the region where opposition parties came to power freely and peacefully through popular elections."
The congressmen also commended "the important role" played by Morocco in the promotion of peace between Israel and Arab states, pointing out that "King Hassan II's vision, credibility, and commitment have been valuable in advancing the prospects for a broad-based peace in the region."
"Recognizing the linkage between stability, security and economic development, we urge you and your Administration to undertake all appropriate steps to strengthen U.S.-Morocco Cooperation," the letter said in conclusion.
In August, the US government backed the congressional call for the consolidation of Moroccan-U.S ties and said it supports strong U.S-Moroccan relations.
The assistant spokesman for the State Department, Lee McLenny said his department "is very much in support of strong U.S-Moroccan relations."
The official underlined that "Morocco is one of America's closest allies and long-standing friends in the region" and that "the United states and Morocco cooperate closely in a number of areas, including promoting peace between Arabs and Israelis and expanded commercial and cultural exchanges."
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