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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT531 2006-03-25 03:47:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

MEPI MEDIA GRANTS PROGRAMS ALARM THE GOM; EMBASSY

Tags:   OIIP PHUM SCUL KMPI KPAO KIRC MO 
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C O N F I D E N T I A L RABAT 000531

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/PI, NEA/MAG, AND NEA/PD FOR FERNANDEZ, SMITH
AND WHITE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/25/2016
TAGS: OIIP PHUM SCUL KMPI KPAO KIRC MO
SUBJECT: MEPI MEDIA GRANTS PROGRAMS ALARM THE GOM; EMBASSY
SEEKS CONSULTATIONS WITH MEPI AND IREX BEFORE FURTHER ACTION

REF: A. RABAT 507



B. RABAT 468

Classified By: DCM WAYNE J. BUSH FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

(C) MEPI's program to support independent media continues to
receive negative press coverage in Morocco. It is a
violation of Morocco's press code for Moroccan media to
accept material assistance from foreign sources. While a
wide section of the Moroccan press welcome the MEPI program,
per ref A, Minister-Delegate for Foreign Affairs Fassi Fihri
and Communication Minister Benabdallah shared their concern
with Ambassador Riley that it is against Moroccan law for any
owner or employee of a publication in Morocco to accept
directly, or indirectly funds or equipment. A grant awarded
under any program that provides something beyond training
(travel expenses are allowed) may violate Moroccan law and
create a difficult situation vis-a-vis the MEPI funded grant
program. The Moroccans were pleased by the Ambassador's
assurance that the USG would evaluate all proposals and
ensure that any proposal funded would not violate Moroccan
laws. In addition, the Embassy is concerned that MEPI
implementer International Research and Exchange Board's
(IREX's) Middle East North Africa Media Development
Initiatives Alliance program (MENA MEDIA) offers similar
grants to Moroccan media that could violate Moroccan law.
Therefore, post requests that MEPI ensure that no grants are
made to Moroccan entities under either of these grant
programs without post concurrence. Post's review of grants
proposed for MEPI funding would be to assure that all grants
are consistent with local law. Post asks that MEPI and IREX
consult post before they have any further communications with
Moroccan applicants for these programs, and that Mission
representatives participate in any discussion with potential
Moroccan grantees.
******************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
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Riley