wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06RABAT62 2006-01-13 17:02:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

MOROCCO POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PREL MO 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (U) Contents

--PPS Consolidates Socialist Alliance, Prepares Congress
--Eid al-Adha: Prayer, Sacrifice, and Pardon
--Morocco and Kuwait Join Forces to Promote Moderate Islam
--King Supports Moroccan Children's Parliament
--Morocco Creates Young Scientist Academy
--Vietnam Opens Embassy in Rabat



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



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


PPS Consolidates Socialist Alliance, Prepares Congress


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



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





2. (U) The leftist Party for Progress and Socialism (PPS)
and its Socialist Alliance partner Al Ahd decided in December
2005 to maintain their partnership after the Socialist and
Democratic Party (PSD), the third Alliance partner, defected
in December 2005 to the Socialist Union of Popular Forces
(USFP) party, according to the Moroccan press. The parties
agreed that PPS president Ismail Alaoui would lead the
Alliance and that Al Ahd leader, Najib Ouazzani, would serve
as vice president. The PPS is also reeling from the
resignation of two of its parliamentarians, Zhor Chekkafi and
Miloud Chaabi. According to Moroccan press sources, Chekkafi
left in January 2006 to protest her marginalization and
discrimination within the party. Chaabi, meanwhile, resigned
in October 2005 for "personal and professional reasons."
PSD's defection and the departure of Chekkafi and Chaabi mean
that the Alliance, which had been the seventh largest caucus
in parliament, now falls four seats shy of the 20 required to
form a caucus in the lower house. The PPS will hold its
seventh annual national congress in April 2006.



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


Eid al-Adha: Prayer, Sacrifice, and Pardon


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





3. (U) To mark the occasion of Eid al-Adha on January 11,
King Mohammed VI performed the Eid al-Adha prayer at the Ahl
Fes mosque in Rabat, accompanied by his younger brother,
Prince Moulay Rachid, and cousin, Prince Moulay Ismail.
Following the prayer, the King took part in the ritual
sacrificing of a ram in front of a distinguished audience
that included the Prime Minister, speakers of both chambers
of parliament, royal advisers, and other civilian and
military officials. Keeping in line with his tradition on
the occasion of important religious or national holidays, the
King pardoned or reduced the sentences of 1059 prisoners,
according to Moroccan press.



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



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


Morocco and Kuwait Join Forces to Promote Moderate Islam


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



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





4. (U) On December 27, Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed
Toufiq, inked with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Abdullah al
Maatouq, a Memorandum of Understanding on Islamic affairs
that aims at promoting religious moderation and a return to
Islam's original principles via modern technology and media.
According to Kuwaiti press, in a statement delivered at the
signing ceremony Toufiq highlighted the necessity to counter
extremism in the name of religion. In other bilateral news,
earlier in December, Kuwait and Morocco held a cultural week
in Kenitra, located 60 kilometers north of the capital, that
focused on creativity in literature. The event was organized
with the cooperation of the Moroccan Author's Association as
well as the Ministries of Education and Culture, and featured
poets, intellectuals, and authors from both countries.



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


King Supports Moroccan Children's Parliament


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





5. (U) On January 8, in message read by Princess Lalla
Meriem (the King's eldest sister), King Mohammed VI
reaffirmed to the fifth session of the Children's Parliament
his desire for a national plan to promote the rights and
improve the situation of children in Morocco (NB: the King
first called for a national plan for children in May 2004).
The session held in Rabat and chaired by Princess Lalla
Meriem, who serves as president of the National Observatory
for Children's Rights and of the Children's Parliament,
brought together kids from all over Morocco to foster
interaction and debate. In his message, the King noted that
he views the Children's Parliament as "tantamount to a school
grooming children in democratic practice and civil attitudes,
arousing greater awareness of the virtues of dialogue,
coexistence, and open-mindedness, and shunning all forms of
exclusion and extremism."



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


Morocco Creates Young Scientist Academy


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





6. (U) On the heels of last month's meeting of the World
Academy for Young Scientists in Marrakech, the Moroccan
government established on January 6 its own academy for young
scientists in an effort to encourage and promote scientific
research and strengthen communication within the Moroccan
scientific community. According to official news agency
Maghreb Arabe Presse, the Minister of National Education and
Scientific Research, Habib El Malki, has urged the academy to
raise awareness on the importance of conbining scientific
knowledge with religious and cultural values to contribute to
sustainable development and to tackle the challenges
associated with globalization and international changes.



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


Vietnam Opens Embassy in Rabat


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





7. (U) On December 23, the speaker of the Vietnamese
National Assembly, Nguyen Van An, attended the inauguration
of Vietnam's embassy in Rabat. Also in attendance was
Abdelwahad Radi, speaker of the Moroccan House of
Representatives. The new Vietnamese ambassador to Rabat, Ngu
Tay Dyung, expressed his desire that the embassy contribute
to developing and reinforcing bilateral relations at all
levels, while Radi added that this will open new important
markets for Morocco in Asia.
******************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
******************************************

Riley