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King Begins Africa Trip; Morocco Extends Religious Cooperation, Training for Tunisia, Guinea, Libya
2/20/2014 1:08:29 PM

Last September, King Mohammed VI and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita chair agreement to train 500 Malian imams with Morocco's moderate form of Islam to help counter extremism. Last week, Morocco agreed to provide similar training for Tunisia, Guinea, and Libya. Photo: MAP
WASHINGTON, DC -- King Mohammed VI began a four-stop Africa trip on February 18, to make official and working visits to Mali, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and Gabon, as Morocco continues to deepen its efforts and engagement to promote peace, progress, and stability in Africa and the MENA region.

In March 2013, the King paid official visits to Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, and Gabon, where he presided over a host of cooperation agreements on economic and development initiatives, and underscored Morocco's commitment to African solidarity in facing economic and security challenges, in particular concerns about the spread of extremism.

Last week, the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs announced that King Mohammed VI has agreed to requests from Tunisia, Guinea, and Libya for cooperation on religious matters, including providing training in Morocco for imams from the three African nations.

Morocco and Mali began a similar effort in September, when King Mohammed VI and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita presided over the signing of an agreement to send 500 Malian imams to Morocco over the next two years for training in using Morocco's moderate and tolerant form of Islam to help fight the spread of extremism. The first 100 imams from Mali have already traveled to Morocco for the program.

"Morocco has long been a leader in advancing stability, cooperation, and economic development in Africa, and its steady path to democratic reform stands as a model for the region specifically, and Africa as a whole," said Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel, who served as US Ambassador to Morocco from 1997 to 2001. "Helping Mali, Tunisia, Guinea, and Libya promote moderate and tolerant Islam is yet another important part of Morocco's vital contribution to peace, security, and development in this part of the world," said Gabriel.

According to a recent report by the Atlantic Council, Morocco has become a "significant force for development in Africa." In addition to providing religious training, Morocco's other initiatives in Africa include trade agreements and investment in a number of countries in sectors as varied as mining, energy, agriculture, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.

Morocco's assistance to Tunisia, Guinea, and Libya will also include sharing its expertise in building mosques and management of religious issues.

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Submitted By: SIAM ERZUAH Submitted: 2/20/2014
Great country with a blessed King. I am from Ghana with a wife from Morocco. I was surprised at the level of development when I visited that country to engage my wife. Now that my wife has finally settled with me here in the United States, I plan to eventually buy a house in Morocco for my eventual retirement. Long live Morocco and the King. Long live Ghana

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