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05RABAT458 2005-03-03 16:57:00 SECRET Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

NEXT SIX MONTHS IN MOROCCO

Tags:   PREL PGOV EAID PTER MASS ASEC AMGT MO PDIP 
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1. (C) The last half of 2004 brought to fruition in several
important ways the Principals, Committee decisions to
intensify U.S. relations with Morocco and enhance Morocco,s
ability to counter terrorism and extremism following the May
2003 terrorist bombings in Casablanca. This cable reviews
progress in U.S.-Morocco relations over the past six months
and identifies critical milestones toward which the Embassy
will work in the next six months.



2. (C) In large measure, Mission efforts over the next six
months will seek to capitalize upon the mechanisms put into
place over the past year to strengthen economic, military,
and law-enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation with
Morocco and the surrounding region. At the same time, we
will continue close coordination with Morocco on U.S. and G-8
efforts to support reform in the Broader Middle East and
North Africa, building upon the successful U.S.-Morocco
experience as co-chairs of the Forum for the Future. We will
advocate specifically for greater press freedom in Morocco,
and work to ensure Morocco's full and timely implementation
of the U.S. Morocco Free Trade Agreement.



3. (S) U.S. government initiatives have focused not only on
rapidly strengthening law-enforcement and intelligence
cooperation with Morocco, but on supporting Moroccan efforts
to address the underlying social, political and economic
conditions that create opportunities for extremists over the
long-term. Over the next six months, the Mission will
continue steps to fully implement the USAID ESF-funded
multi-year strategies on education, economic growth and
democracy/governance, and will facilitate negotiation of
Morocco's MCC compact with the U.S. In addition, the Mission
will move forward with efforts to expand public outreach by
creating at least two American corners and providing the
Department post,s proposal for an American Presence Post in
Marrakech. Meanwhile, continued U.S. engagement in the
search for a solution to the Western Sahara conflict and
related human rights concerns is a vital component of our
overall relationship with Morocco, and one that is essential
for long-term stability in the Maghreb. Similarly, the
Mission will work to obtain Moroccan support for dialogue
between Israel and the Palestinians and efforts to create
stability and democracy in Iraq.



4. (C) Major accomplishments over the past six months
include:

Major Milestones


--------------------------


--The Mission supported the visit of King Mohammed VI to
Washington.

--The U.S. Congress and the Moroccan parliament ratified the
U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.

Supporting Reform


--------------------------


--The U.S. and Morocco worked together to co-chair the Forum
for the Future to advance G-8 support for reform in the
Broader Middle East and North Africa.

--Morocco agreed to sponsor and began implementing the BMENA
Entrepreneurship Initiative.

--Through MEPI and other programs and ongoing advocacy
efforts, the Mission supported implementation of Morocco,s
landmark reform of the Moudawana (family law); provided
assistance to strengthen parliament, political parties and
local government; supported GOM efforts to end child labor;
and, supported Moroccan actions to implement the FTA.

--Advocated for continued progress on reform via visit of MCC
CEO Applegarth and by directly linking MCA funding to reform
results.

--Promoted press freedom through DVC programs and high-level
advocacy.

--The Embassy monitored and reported on Morocco,s progress
in conducting public Equity and Reconciliation Commission
hearings.

--Embassy coordinated on support for reform with EU countries
and advocated successfully for Moroccan participation in NATO
Med Dialogue.

Counter-terrorism


--------------------------


--Provided INL funded training to Moroccan law enforcement
agencies in crime scene investigation and terrorist
financing. Conducted training for Moroccan Customs and
Border patrol officers, and provided equipment. Hosted
Moroccan law enforcement officials in the United States for
program on community policing. Provided training to Moroccan
officials in skill areas related to security-related
information collection and analysis. Helped GOM to create,
equip and train special rapid reaction team to respond to
terrorist events. Provided counter-terrorism training for 40
Moroccan military officers via the U.S. Center for
Civil-Military Relations.

--Initiated extensive interagency cooperation with GOM on
PISCES and biometric data information sharing initiatives.

--Advocated successfully for timely GOM action to meet
International Maritime Organization ISPS port/maritime
security standards.

--Convened G8 Counter-Terrorism Action Group meeting.

--Established a Legal Attach Office within the Embassy to
intensify law-enforcement cooperation with Morocco and the
surrounding region.

--Added a Naval Attach and to the Defense Attach Office to
focus on security of the Straits of Gibraltar and enhance
interaction with the Moroccan Navy.

Regional stability and conflict resolution


--------------------------


--The Embassy and senior U.S. officials continued to
encourage Morocco in seeking a solution to the Western Sahara
conflict.

--The Mission significantly expanded reporting related to the
Western Sahara and confidence building measures through
multiple reporting officer visits and broader contacts with
the Sahrawi population.

--The GOM provided diplomatic and public support for U.S.
efforts to bring stability to Iraq and to make progress on
the roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Security of U.S. Personnel, Facilities and Information


--------------------------



--------------------------


--Established a Force Protection Officer position in the
Embassy to focus on security of transiting U.S. forces,
including those engaged in joint exercises with Morocco,s
Royal Armed Forces.

--Carried out U.S. government-funded security upgrades at
American schools in Rabat, Casablanca and Tangiers.

--Relocated Peace Corps country office to more secure office
building.

Economic and Development Assistance


--------------------------


--The Millennium Challenge Corporation approved Morocco as
the first Middle East country eligible for Millennium
Challenge Account funding.

--USAID began awarding contracts to implement the ESF-funded
initiative to quadruple U.S. non-military assistance to
Morocco, focused on education, economic growth and
democracy/governance. Specifically, the Mission awarded
contracts for parliamentary strengthening, basic education,
and vocational training and literacy.

--The U.S. provided $3 million in emergency assistance to
fight the locust invasion that threatened food and revenue
for millions of people in southern and eastern Morocco as
well as the Maghreb and Sahel regions. To accomplish this
the Mission conducted site visits, created power point
presentations, gathered data and intervened at senior levels
with Washington agencies.

--Expanded Peace Corps program to 127 volunteers
country-wide, and conducted English language summer camp for
Moroccan youth run by Peace Corps Youth Development
Volunteers.

--The Mission secured two G/TIP grants for activities to
counter trafficking in persons.

--The Mission launched public-private partnership with Cisco
to provide employment-related training in the technology
sector. Cisco management reported that it was the fastest
startup of their Partnership program they have sever seen and
included 30% female involvement exceeding it's program target.

Support for U.S. business, trade and investment


--------------------------

--
--Successfully supported efforts by Boeing to conclude major
aircraft sales to Morocco.

--Conducted successful high-level advocacy to secure greater
fairness and transparency in judicial processes involving
U.S. business.
--Obtained OPIC agreement in principle to host regional
investment conference in Morocco
.
Public Outreach


--------------------------


--Ambassador Riley led public diplomacy/reporting visits to
remote areas of Morocco, including the regions surrounding
Oujda, Nador, Al Hoceima, Ouarzazat, and Agadir.

--The U.S. Mission and Moroccan government carried out the
"FTA Caravan," a nationwide outreach effort to familiarize
Moroccans throughout the country with the advantages and
opportunities the FTA creates.

--Conducted focus groups to enhance understanding of Moroccan
attitudes toward terrorism.

--Conducted public outreach on counter-terrorism utilizing
senior USG officials including S/CT Coordinator Cofer Black.

--Utilized cultural envoys in literature, sports and the
performing arts, as well as exchange visits, to promote
understanding of U.S. values.

--Enhanced understanding of democratic systems and practices
through representational programs for university students and
others focused on U.S. election and inauguration.

--Facilitated high level visits by Secretaries of State and
Treasury, multiple Assistant and Under Secretary level
visitors, and members of Congress to demonstrate continued
U.S. support for Morocco,s reforms and efforts against
terrorism.

Military Cooperation


--------------------------


--Conducted military exchanges including CAPSTONE visit from
National Defense University and visit of Business Executives
for National Security. Near East/South Asia Center conducted
in-country seminars at Moroccan Military War College, Al
Akhwayne University, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

--Hosted senior Moroccan military officers at the Joint
Analysis Center in Molesworth and at the USEUCOM conference
on the Trans Sahel Counter Terrorism Initiative.

--Conducted U.S.-Morocco Navy Talks in Casablanca.

--Conducted Exercise Majestic Eagle, a U.S. and multinational
maritime exercise off the coast of Morocco involving 10,000
personnel. Conducted other exercise activities including
Atlas Eagle, the Utah-Morocco State Partnership program, and
numerous humanitarian projects. Began planning for "African
Lion 2005."

--With U.S. encouragement, Morocco agreed to deploy
peacekeeping troops to Haiti in conjunction with Spanish
forces.

Science and Technology


--------------------------


--The U.S. and Morocco made substantial progress toward
signing an agreement to begin construction of a new seismic
monitoring station.

--Advanced discussions on bilateral Science and Technology
agreement to final phase.




5. Mission efforts over the next six months will aim to
maintain momentum in the U.S.-Morocco relationship following
the successful Washington visit of King Mohammed; build upon
the success of the Forum for the Future to leverage continued
Moroccan support for domestic reform and the BMENA
initiatives; encourage Morocco to address constructively the
Western Sahara conflict with Algeria and the Polisario;
identify and advocate constructive Moroccan actions to
support dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians and
efforts to achieve stability and democracy in Iraq; utilize
the Free Trade Agreement as a springboard to expanded U.S.
trade with and investment in Morocco; deepen
counter-terrorism cooperation, taking advantage of enhanced
U.S. law-enforcement presence in the Mission; move forward
with new USAID and MCA development assistance; and, expand
U.S. public outreach to take advantage of potentially
improving receptiveness of Moroccan audiences resulting from
reduction in tension between Israel and the Palestinians and
improving conditions in Iraq. The Embassy will focus on the
following specific activities to achieve these objectives:
(This list is not exhaustive, but captures major activities
over the next six months.)

Supporting Reform


--------------------------


--Leverage Moroccan enthusiasm and support for reforms and
the BMENA initiatives by obtaining active Moroccan support
for efforts by the UK, as G-8 president, and Bahrain to
prepare the next Forum for the Future.
--Establish in conjunction with GOM and Al Akhwayne
University the BMENA sponsored Center for Entrepreneurial
Excellence

--Begin preparations for MEPI-sponsored Middle East-North
Africa labor ministers, social dialogue conference in Rabat
and secure participation of Labor Secretary Chao.

--Continue to engage GOM at senior levels on press freedom
and support GOM efforts toward press reform.

--Encourage continued progress on reform within Morocco
through advocacy and dialogue, including focus on continued
Moroccan improvement as measured by Millennium Challenge
Account eligibility criteria.

--Monitor and report on progress of the Equity and
Reconciliation Commission and ongoing implementation of the
Moudawana reforms.

Counter-terrorism


--------------------------


--Intensify counter terrorism coordination by creating and
beginning to implement country plan for newly established
legal attach office in Rabat.

--Continue internal coordinating of counter-terrorism efforts
through Mission counter-terrorism working group.

--Advocate for passage of anti-money laundering legislation.

--Facilitate senior level exchanges on counter terrorism
between Moroccan security chief Laanigri and senior U.S.
government officials from the FBI, ORA and State Department.

--Advance biometric and law enforcement cooperation with
Morocco through implementation of PISCES and biometric
information sharing initiatives.

--Implement FY-2005 INL and ATA funded counter terrorism and
border security training and assistance programs for Moroccan
law enforcement officials. Plan FY-2006 activities through
close consultation with the GOM.

--Evaluate, in conjunction with GOM, viability of U.S. funded
community-policing initiative for Morocco.

--Complete construction of LEGATT office space and make
LEGATT fully operational.

--Conduct terrorist finance/money laundering training by FBI
experts.

Regional stability and conflict resolution


--------------------------


--Facilitate visit of Deputy Foreign Minister and King,s
Advisor to Washington in March.

--Encourage King Mohammed,s constructive interaction with
Algerian President Bouteflika on the issue of the Western
Sahara during the March Arab League summit in Algiers.

--Continue U.S. support, monitoring and evaluation of
confidence building measures aimed at creating greater mutual
understanding among the Sahrawi living in Tindouf and those
in Western Sahara.

--In coordination with Department, advocate for steps leading
to the release of Moroccan prisoners of war.

--In consultation with the Department, encourage GOM to
identify and carry out specific steps, such as the exchange
of liaison offices with Israel and financial support for the
Palestinians, to encourage progress along the roadmap for
peace in the Middle East.

--Encourage active GOM support for stability and democracy in
Iraq.

Security of U.S. Personnel, Facilities and Information


--------------------------



--------------------------


--Enhance Mission capability to respond to security related
emergencies by establishing additional REACT room at MSG
quarters.

--Initiate OBO perimeter security upgrade at chancery.

--Identify and evaluate alternatives for obtaining more
secure workspace for USAID

--Expand participation of U.S. businesses in Overseas
Security Advisory Council and hold OSAC meeting.

Economic and Development Assistance


--------------------------


--Facilitate Moroccan efforts to construct Millennium
Challenge Account compact through open and consultative
process.

--USAID will complete contract awards to fully implement new
ESF funded strategy. Specifically USAID will evaluate
proposals and award contracts for programs in local
governance, improved business environment, and new business
development.
--Expand Peace Corps program by fifty new volunteers,
rebuilding program to pre-war level.

Support for U.S. business, trade and investment


--------------------------

-
--Promote full FTA implementation and Moroccan compliance
through completion of CLDP study of compliance requirements
and continuous review with the GOM.

--Secure firm OPIC commitment to host regional investment
conference in Morocco and begin detailed planning.
--Promote U.S. trade and investment with Morocco via
Ambassador,s participation in U.S. business outreach program.

Public Outreach


--------------------------


--Obtain Department approval to establish American Presence
Post in Marrakech; identify facility and personnel.

--Establish American Corners in Marrakech and Oujda.

--Provide cultural representatives to participate in
festivals in Fez, Marrakech, Casablanca, and other cities to
be determined.

--Conduct DVC with Moroccan students in the US to dispel
misperceptions about treatment of Muslims and foreign
students.

--Ensure participation of Moroccan journalists in NATO Med
Dialogue program.

--Provide speaker and other support for activities for World
Press Freedom Day.

--Conduct media outreach program for journalists in Oujda and
Nador.

--Initiate interaction with Al Akhwayne University on press
freedom.

--Reinstitute summer institute for English language training.

--Broaden regional participation in Morocco Association of
English Teachers conference.

--Program exchange visits approximately 24 activities in
first half of 2005, including book fairs, performing
artists, U.S. speakers, and American writers.

--Provide public affairs support for high level visitors,
U.S. sponsored international conferences, and U.S. Military
exercises.

Military Cooperation


--------------------------


--In coordination with Washington and EUCOM, create
opportunities for increased military to military dialogue
between Morocco and Algeria, especially by creating and
planning a U.S. naval exercise involving Morocco, Algeria and
Tunisia.

--Convene third annual U.S.-Morocco Defense Consultative
Committee meeting chaired by A/S Rodman in Morocco in May


2005.

--Execute Exercise African Lion in southern Morocco in April


2005.

--Conduct third annual bilateral military intelligence
exchange meeting with Chief of Moroccan military intelligence
in September 2005.

--Obtain Moroccan participation in EUCOM Chief of Defense
conference on Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism Initiative

--Host National Defense University visit to Morocco in May


2005.

Science and Technology


--------------------------


--Complete and sign bilateral Science and Technology
Agreement.

--Sign agreement and commence construction of U.S. funded
seismic monitoring station.
RILEY