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06RABAT31 2006-01-06 18:32:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Rabat
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1. This cable is sensitive but unclassified. Please treat

2. (U) King Mohammed VI delivered a televised speech to the
Moroccan nation on January 6, following midday prayers. The
five-minute speech was announced in the press the previous
day to maximize interest. In attendance were the Prime
Minister, the speakers of Parliament, cabinet members, senior
military officers, leaders of political parties and trade
unions, members of the Consultative Council for Human Rights
(CCDH), members of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission
(IER), and, most unusually, family members of some human
rights victims identified by the IER.

3. (SBU) A target audience for the King's speech was
Moroccan youth. According to Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP), the
official press agency, the King stressed that "it is high
time we turned to the present and the future of our sons" by
being "committed to hard work, by pursuing the (same)
sacrifices made by the generations of independence and the
Green March eras (Note: a reference to King Hassan II's
inspired march to claim the Western Sahara thirty years ago.
End Note.), and by forging ahead with a broad-based reform
process, boosted by the resolve and enthusiasm of our youth."

4. (U) The King reaffirmed his orders to publish the IER's
final report, along with the country's human development
achievements and future potential. He emphasized that the
first fifty years of independence, i.e., 1956 to the present,
provide lessons that "will shield our country from a
repetition of what happened, and enable it to make up for
what was lost." (Note: The King was referring in part to
the gross human rights abuses documented by the IER's final
report. End Note.)

5. (U) In no way allowing his father to be the scapegoat for
any past mistakes, the King referred to Hassan II's
"groundbreaking" process in the 1990s which set the stage for
the IER. He applauded the IER's work and charged the
Consultative Council on Human Rights (CCDH) to implement the
IER's recommendations in order to support "my determination
to promote the pursuit of truth, justice and reconciliation."
Importantly, the King defined reconciliation not as putting
the past "behind us" but rather as "collective forgiveness."
This "collective forgiveness" will "bolster the in-depth
institutional reform under way, one that should enable our
country to free itself from the blemishes of past civil and
political rights abuses." This would pave the way for "the
second fifty-year post-independence period, and focus on the
hard, decisive mission of promoting the economic, social and
cultural rights of all Moroccans, especially those who suffer
from poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and marginalization."

6. (SBU) Comment: The key words in the King's speech are
"collective forgiveness," and the King sets the issue firmly
within the Quran, sprinkling scriptural allusions where
appropriate. He has deliberately set the IER in the context
of Morocco's development and evolution, as though to say
mistakes were made but the future is bright if the people
join together to focus on the challenges ahead. This
approach of exhorting the people to action is in line with
many of his recent speeches, whether the target audience was
political parties, civic organizations, or youth. He
directly asks the elite to "resume their role in guiding the
nation." The King clearly wants the citizenry to support and
participate in the reforms which can alleviate, if not
eradicate, the problems facing Morocco. By linking the IER's
final recommendations with the comprehensive study of the
last fifty years of development and emphasizing a vision of
the future, the King has asked Moroccans to become full,
participating citizens of their country, challenging them to
take action in a constructive manner. End Comment.
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