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Ibtissam: The New Icon of Moroccan Patriotism

New York - The supporters of the Algerian government are not happy these days with the Lebanese people, especially with the Beirut-based TV channel CBS, and they have every reason not to be. While their government has been striving, for four decades now, to thwart every Moroccan effort to reaffirm Morocco’s sovereignty over the so-called Western Sahara, some Algerians received a slap in the face on the 39th ...

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‘Western Sahara’: King Mohammed VI’s Clear Message to the United Nations

New York - On the 39th anniversary of the Green March, King Mohammed VI delivered a landmark speech that will be remembered for years to come. The speech both ended Morocco’s passivity and inertia in dealing with “Western Sahara” conflict and set the tone for Moroccan diplomacy in the coming years. Unlike his speeches in previous years, the Moroccan monarch was strong in his assessment of the current situat ...

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The Case of a Woman Held in Tindouf: Deafening Silence of International Media

New York- Since last August, the family of Mahjouba Mohamed Hamdidaf, a young Saharawi woman with Spanish citizenship, has held her hostage in the Polisario-controlled Tindouf camps in Algeria. Mahjouba is a 23-year-old young woman who became a Spanish national in 2002 after being adopted by a Spanish family in 1999. As soon as she arrived in the Tindouf camps last August, her biological parents confiscated ...

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Reading between the lines of King Mohammed VI’s Speech at the UN

New York - The Moroccan people and international observers were somehow taken aback by the tone of King Mohammed VI’s speech at the general debate of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was read out by Abdelilah Benkirane, head of the Moroccan government. The speech was unprecedented in its denunciation of the deleterious effect of colonialism on developing countries, especially i ...

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Will Felipe’s Ascension to the Throne Adversely Impact Morocco- Spain Relations?

New York Since the announcement of King Juan Carlos’ decision to abdicate the throne of Spain in favor of his Heir Apparent, Prince Felipe, the question that observers and analysts have been asking is whether this changeover of power in Spain will have an impact on the relations between Morocco and Spain. The answer lies in the strategic importance of the strong relationship between the two countries’ royal ...

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Why a Spat Between Morocco and Tunisia Over ‘Western Sahara’ is Unlikely

New York- Moroccans were surprised on Saturday by an unlikely rumor that King Mohammed VI has decided to cut short his visit to Tunisia and return to Morocco. The reason for this supposed decision was said to be a disagreement between the heads of State over the Western Sahara conflict. Upon hearing the rumor, Moroccans, including myself, wondered whether it really was just a rumor or actually another effor ...

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Why a War Between Morocco and Algeria Over ‘Western Sahara’ is Unlikely

New York- As I was reading the news on Saturday morning, I came across an article published by a Moroccan analyst. Mr. Manar Slimi, author of the article, put forth many arguments regarding the question of the "Western Sahara" and relations between Morocco and Algeria. While I have much respect towards Mr. Slimi at the personal level and I often agree with his analyses, this time around I don't agree with h ...

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Time for UN To Adopt A Realistic Approach to the Sahara Conflict

New York- The UN Security Council is set to adopt a new resolution to renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Organization of the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO). Like the previous resolutions adopted since 2007, the resolution that will be adopted on Tuesday will renew its call on the parties to continue their negotiations in “good faith and without preconditions”in order to achi ...

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Sahara Conflict: Is the UN Deviating from Its Core Mandate?

New York- The UN Secretary General released his annual report on the “Situation in the Western Sahara” on Thursday. The much-anticipated report, which will constitute the main reference for Security Council members in drafting their annual resolution on the Sahara, was somehow balanced. Unlike last year’s report, Ban Ki-moon did not make a clear recommendation on the need to extend the mandate of the United ...

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Dispelling misconceptions and misrepresentations about the Sahara

New York - As I was reading an article about the question of the Sahara entitled "The Tindouf Refugee Camps: A Moroccan’s Reflections", I was struck by the amount of factual mistakes and misrepresentations made by the editors of the article, as well as by the shallowness of the arguments its author makes in defending the Polisairo and slamming Morocco. In the first part of this article, which was published ...

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Hamid Chabat, Morocco’s most controversial man of the year

Fez- As 2013 is coming to an end, it is time to choose the personality that has left an indelible mark in the Moroccan political scene. Saying indelible mark does not necessarily mean a person that has had a positive impact on the country’s political affairs. Any person that has been following politics in 2013 will agree that Hamid Chabat, the current head of the Istiqlal party, is one of the people that dr ...

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Sahara: Morocco back on track, a lot remains to get done

New York- As expected by a number of Moroccan and American observers, King Mohammed VI’s visit to the United States of America was fruitful for Morocco at many levels, whether the deepening of its cooperation with its American partner on matters of security, military and counter-terrorism in the Sahel or the promotion of trade and cultural ties. The focal point of talks between King Mohammed VI and Presiden ...

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