On July 29th of this year, the twentieth anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, I published an article focusing on his first twenty years as king, recalling the vision he set forth in his earliest speech, as well as discussing his achievements and continuing challenges, which I said rested mainly in his hands. I also noted that, in spite of the mostly ill effects of the Arab Spring in the region, Morocco has made enormous progress, due mainly to the Kingdom’s independent and early decision to pursue democratic reforms.
This article is a follow-up, suggesting an agenda for the next twenty years.
In his Fête du trône speech this year, King Mohammed provided his own assessment of the past twenty years and his vision for the next chapter of his reign.
He emphasized his commitment to his people and country as a monarch who serves their interests, and renewed his firm believe in the democratic process: “there is the democracy and development-based policy, which I have been implementing resolutely and confidently.” Recalling the “quantum leap” in infrastructure development and “undeniable progress in promoting (human) rights and freedoms and consolidating sound democratic practice,” he added that such progress is undermined because it is not felt by all segments of the Moroccan society...
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Edward M. Gabriel is a former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and currently President of the American Task Force for Lebanon. He has an extensive background in international affairs, having convened multilateral policy forums involving national security, environmental, and trade and energy issues.