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'Morocco most stable, reformist country in Maghreb region'

Posted on Jul 23 2014 | IANS

Washington, July 23 : Morocco is the most stable country of the Maghreb region, encouraging religious moderation, thanks to the set of reforms initiated by King Mohammed VI long before the 'Arab Spring', says US think tank Atlantic Council.

"Today, Morocco not only receives top marks as the most stable country of the Maghreb region, it also leads the region in progress on social and political reforms," underlines the author, Karim Mezran, senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East, focusing on the politics and economics of North Africa.

On a regional level, Morocco has become more engaged in the promotion of peace and security, he says, citing that the kingdom has trained imams from neighbouring countries, encouraging religious moderation, MAP news agency quoted him as saying.

According to Mezran, Morocco's partnerships with the US and other regional players were reinforced as the country received advanced status with the European Union, signed free trade agreements with the US, the European Union and several Middle East and North African countries, and is engaged in a strategic dialogue with the US.

Noting that the reform process was initiated by King Mohammed VI in his early years in power, long before the wave of protests in 2011, he underlines that the sovereign sought to enrich Morocco's human rights portfolio since the early 2000s with improvements in family law through reform of the family code and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission investigating old human rights violations.

For him, the principal reform adopted was the introduction of a new constitution, voted on by through popular referendum and internationally praised, MAP said.

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