A year after King Mohammed VI paid an official visit to the United States last November, American President Barack Obama is set to visit Morocco this fall.
According to Moroccan French language website Medias 24, which cites trusted sources, the preparations for Obama’s visit to the Kingdom have already started.
According to the same source, American diplomats and high security officials have visited a luxurious residence which is anticipated to host the American president during his stay, and the visit is expected to take place in November or December, 2014, after the mid-term elections for U.S Congress.
Following King Mohammed VI’s visit to the White House last November, President Obama thanked the Moroccan monarch for the invitation to visit Morocco. The two heads of state decided to remain in close contact and committed to deepening cooperation between their two governments.
“President Obama and King Mohammed VI reaffirmed their commitment to stay in close contact and to continue on a path of increased cooperation that will strengthen the United States-Morocco strategic partnership, including the next meeting of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue in Rabat,” they said in a joint statement issued after the meeting between President Obama and King Mohammed VI.
Historic relations back to normal
It seems that King Mohammed VI’s visit last year was instrumental in rekindling the historic good relations that have existed between Morocco and the United States for more than two centuries.
As of today the United States has the longest unbroken treaty of friendship with Morocco, which was the first country to recognize its independence in 1776.
But this historic relationship was put in jeopardy in April 2013 when former American Permanent Representative to the United Nations circulated a draft resolution to the Security Council, which called for the expansion of the Mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) to include the monitoring of human rights in the region.
But following an unprecedented diplomatic mobilization led by King Mohammed VI, the U.S amended its draft resolution, and the resolution adopted by the Security Council did not call for the establishment of such a mechanism.
After King Mohammed VI’s visit to the White House last November, the American President reaffirmed that the Moroccan autonomy plan presented by Morocco to the Security Council in April 2007 could be a serious and realistic basis on which to build to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the Western Sahara dispute.
“Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic and credible,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at the time.
“It represents a potential approach that can satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity.”
In spite of the efforts made by the Polisario, Algeria and their supporters to politicize the question of human rights, the latest resolution of the Security Council on the Western Sahara, which was drafted by the United States, did not call for the expansion of MINURSO to include the monitoring of human rights.