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The Moroccan champion broke a long olympic streak of Kenyan wins this Monday, securing Morocco’s first medal since the start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Soufiane El Bakkali, Morocco’s greatest hope during the disappointing (for Moroccan athletes) Japanese Olympics, lived up to expectations this Monday by striking gold in the 3000m steeplechase.

The Fez-born Olympic Champion interrupted Kenya’s reign over the 3000m category in 2008, and revived Moroccans’ hope for another Guerrouj-like double coronation, as it was the case in 2004. 

In a statement to the press shortly after his win, the 25-year-old champion was at a loss for words, saying this was “a dream coming true, after years of hard work.”

He thanked his coach - whom he “considers like a father” - and his friends and family. 

The athlete then dedicated the win to the Morocaan people and to King Mohammed VI, “for his constant support of the sports sector and Moroccan athletes.”

He said, “I couldn’t wait for the day when I could gift my dear country an Olympic medal.”

El Bakkali’s triumph prompted international media interest, with commentators and fans celebrating the fact that the Moroccan Olympic champion is the first non-Kenyan to win the gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase since 1980.

The 3000m steeplechase is a specialty of Kenyans, who have maintained their hold on the coveted top spot for the last 9 Olympic Games held between 1984 and 2016. 

Before El Bakkali, the Polish "Bronislaw Malinowski" was the last non-Kenyan to win gold in this distance, in the 1980 Olympics.



When asked about how he managed to outrank revered Kenyan and Ethyopian athletes to win over the title, he stated, “Since the Doha games, the Kenyan hegemony on the 3000m steeplechase was changing, as new runners from different nationalities were able to prove themselves.”

He added that he “came prepared,” and knew many of the Kenyan and Ethyopian runners he was competing against. 

The Moroccan gold medalist also took the time to thank his parents, saying they “can now be proud of their Olympian Champion son.”

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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The athlete dedicated his win “to the King and all Moroccans.”

King Mohammed VI sent today a congratulatory message to Morocco’s athlete Soufiane El Bakkali after the Moroccan athlete struck gold at the Tokyo Olympics. 

El Bakkali came first in the 3000m steeplechase, a performance that made  him the first non-Kenyan athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in that category since 1980.

The King expressed his warm congratulations and appreciation for El Bakkali’s achievement, saying the Moroccan athlete’s win “came to crown the tremendous efforts that the Olympic champion has been making to achieve the best achievements.” 

“As we commend this well-deserved global crown, with which you raised the flag of Morocco in this prestigious international event, we wish you success and brilliance in your rich sporting career, covered by our generous sympathy and satisfaction,” the King added.

After weeks of poor performances by Morocco’s representatives during the 2020 Olympic Games, El Bakkali gave Moroccan a moment of pride and rejoicing.

A teary-eyed El Bakkali raised Morocco’s flag after his win, telling the media he was dedicating his historic win to King Mohammed VI and all Moroccans.

The Fez-born added, “I couldn’t wait for the day when I could give my dear country an Olympic medal.” El Bakkali’s triumph made international headlines, with Moroccans sharing the athlete’s pictures along with captions of pride and support.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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Kenya's phenomenal run of success in the Olympic men's 3,000m steeplechase came to an end as Soufiane El Bakkali won gold on day 10 of Tokyo 2020.

The 25-year-old clocked eight minutes 8.90 seconds to beat Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma and Kenya's Benjamin Kigen and win Morocco's first medal in Tokyo.

Kenyans have won the event at every Games they have competed at since 1968.

"I am so used to seeing Kenyans win, it's a big accomplishment for me," said a delighted El Bakkali.

"I have been aiming for this for years and this was my opportunity to show that Morocco is capable of winning this prize.

"It was not easy for me to be in front of the Kenyans and Ethiopians. I know how hard it is to be first in front of them."

Girma, a late call-up to the Ethiopian team, won silver in 8:10.38 with Kigen (8:11.45) claiming bronze and his nation's first medal in Tokyo.

 

source: BBC sports

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Fully vaccinated tourists can enter Saudi Arabia without needing to enter an institutional quarantine provided if they present vaccination certificates upon arrival and proof of negative PCR tests conducted within 72 hours from the time of departure.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency late Thursday, the Ministry of Tourism announced that the Kingdom will open its doors to tourists and lift the suspension of entry for tourist visa holders, starting from Aug. 1 (Sunday).

Visitors to the Kingdom are also required to register their data related to vaccination doses on the new electronic portal https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home, the statement said adding that data is also recorded through the “Tawakkalna” (coronavirus) application and is needed to be shown to enter public places.

To accommodate travelers, the Kingdom has upgraded the "Tawakkalna" application, allowing temporary visitors to register with their passport details. The app is required for entry into many public places in Saudi Arabia, including shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

According to the statement, fully vaccinated are those who have received two doses of a vaccine that is approved in Saudi Arabia, which is Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Meanwhile, those who have taken two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will also be allowed if they have received an additional dose of one of the four above-mentioned vaccines.

All visitors will be asked to observe all precautionary measures approved by the Ministry of Health, which include wearing a face mask in public and maintaining physical distancing.

In the statement, the ministry said that those wishing to obtain a tourist visa can apply through the visitsaudi.com website.

Speaking on this occasion, Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said: “We welcome tourists again, and we are very happy to receive the Kingdom’s guests again after a hiatus due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.”

He added: “We focused our efforts during the pause on close cooperation with our partners in all sectors to ensure a safe return through which visitors to the Kingdom can enjoy exploring its treasures, important destinations and landmarks, enjoy unique tourist experiences, and learn about the culture of generosity and hospitality that characterizes Saudi society.”

The Kingdom launched the tourist visa program in September 2019 in a historic decision, opening its heart and doors for tourists from different countries of the world. The program achieved remarkable success as 400,000 visas were issued within 6 months before the suspension of international travel due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement of the travel resumption for tourists coincides with the launch of the 2021 summer seasonal campaign, which is bringing a wealth of new attractions and events to the country. The new campaign is expected to tap into significant latent demand among the domestic and regional population, especially for larger-scale entertainment events, which have been significantly affected by measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

Despite the pandemic, the year 2020 was a breakout year for Saudi’s domestic tourism industry as citizens and residents explored the country — many for the first time — enabling the continued development of activities and new products ahead of the international reopening.

The 2020 Saudi Summer campaign, which ran between June and September, generated a 33 percent increase in spending on hotels, restaurants, and recreation and cultural activities compared to the same period in 2019. Average hotel occupancy was at nearly 50 percent, with peak occupancy for some destinations at almost 100 percent.

Saudi Arabia also introduced the country’s first-ever leisure cruise offering along the Red Sea on the Silver Spirit cruise ship, in September 2020. Cruise is being offered once again as part of the Summer season, with the MSC Belissima operating out of Jeddah between July and September.

Saudi Arabia is successfully carrying out the Kingdom-wide COVID-19 vaccination campaign for all citizens and residents, with more than 26 million doses administered so far. More than half of all Saudi citizens and residents have now received their first shot and one in five have received two doses of the vaccine.

 

source: saudigazette

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Despite women comprising a quarter of the judiciary sector in Morocco, female prosecutors and magistrates are still underrepresented in the profession.

Morocco has its first head prosecutor at a first instance court, after Rabha Fath Nour was recently appointed as head prosecutor at a Moroccan first instance court. 

The appointment of Nour as the King's Prosecutor at the Mohammedia Court of First Instance is a historic first for the Moroccan judiciary system. 

In spite of efforts made in the area, women remain heavily underrepresented in judicial positions. 

Out of 104 appointments, validated by King Mohammed VI as head of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, six have been granted to female judges. 

Rabha Fath Nour’s appointment, however, is not like the others. The position of King's prosecutor at a court of first instance has never been held by a female magistrate.

Rabha Fath Nour will be fully able to participate in all legal matters, as well as criminal cases. 

The step on the long road to achieving gender equality will aim to meet the goals of provisions of Article 19 of the Constitution, and Article 65 of the Organic Law of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (SCJP).

The SCJP is the organization that is responsible for managing the careers of judges, and is bound by its laws to follow the principles of equality and parity.

Since the recent reform of the judiciary, the SCJP began announcing vacancies among women and offering them the opportunity to hold leadership positions. Prior to this, women judges were required to wait for a recommendation, which affected their chances for success.

Morocco had its first female judge, Zhor El Horr, back in 1979. Since this appointment, judicial positions are gaining greater appeal to Moroccan women. 

Today, Morocco has over 1,000 female judges, out of a total of 4,175 magistrates working in the country’s courts. 

According to data dating back to 2015, 836 of the women in the field were judges and jury members, while 164 operated as prosecutors or deputy prosecutors.

Despite women representing a quarter of the judiciary professional field, no Moroccan woman has ever been appointed head prosecutor in a first instance court. 

Female prosecutors are often delegated as civil, commercial, and criminal prosecutors. 

This new appointment will mean that the first instance court of Mohammedia will be fully led by a woman for the first time in Morocco’s history. 

As a result, Field professionals are advocating for women to be allocated to at least a quarter of high-ranking positions in the field, proportionate to their presence on the field. 

In order to manage the challenges ahead, Morocco appears to need to increase female representation in its judiciary, particularly at the top of the ladder. 


Morocco World News reached out to Aicha Aitelhaj, a civil prosecutor and president of the Moroccan Association of Women Judges (AMFJ) for a statement on the matter. 

The civil prosecutor described the new nomination as "a dream come true", as the association has been advocating for a female head prosecutor of a first instance court.

“Most female judges have been shown to excel in various judiciary fields, relating to commercial, civil or criminal cases. Yet they are still outnumbered in nomination and higher positions in the field,” she stated. 

Female judges are applying to these positions in significant numbers."Those who applied for vacant positions and were not selected should have, at least, been suggested for the courts closest to them," laments the president of the AMFJ who recalls, moreover, that calls for candidacy were not open before establishment of the organic law 100-13, relating to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.

Women judges have been proven to add a much needed personal perspective to their judicial actions and experiences, bringing a more comprehensive and empathetic perspective on cases relating to female struggles, such as sexual assault, harrassement, gender discrimination in the workplace, and the enforcement of the constitutional rights of Moroccan women. 

Women judges are more likely to advance the legal protection of women’s basic rights in Morocco as well as on the global scale.

Not all women in the judicial field share this opinion, as some say that the law, being an impartial body, is meant to be applied regardless of the genders involved in the case, and those of the competent authorities. 

Yet, female judges in several jurisdictions have already played an important role in addressing discrimination against women and violations of women’s rights. 

 
 
Sources: Morocco World News.
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Throne day festivities have been canceled due to the pandemic, but the King is set to address the nation this Saturday.

King Mohammed VI received congratulatory messages from heads of states and governments across the world this Friday, on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of Throne Day.  

The leaders of various countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Israel , China, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and others, expressed sincere congratulations to the King and the Moroccan people, wishing them good health, happiness, and further progress and prosperity.

The Chinese president was another leader that extended his sincere congratulations and best wishes for the health and success of the King, prosperity for the Kingdom and happiness for the friendly Moroccan people. 

"Under the leadership of Your Majesty, the Government and people of Morocco have made every effort to fight against Covid-19 and promote socio-economic development, and have achieved remarkable results," Jinping wrote.   

The president said he is "very committed" to the development of China-Morocco relations, the the Chinese president expressed his determination to work together with His Majesty the King to deepen mutual political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation, and continue cooperation in the fight against Covid-19, enhancing the Sino-Moroccan strategic partnership to a higher level, to the benefit of both countries and peoples. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his "warm" congratulations to Canadians of Moroccan origin during Throne Day celebrations.

The 22nd anniversary of HM King Mohammed VI's accession to the Throne of His Glorious Ancestors is a "wonderful opportunity for Canadians of Moroccan origin to celebrate their heritage and strengthen the ties that unite them," Trudeau said.

"Over the years, Canadians of Moroccan origin have prospered and contributed enormously to Canadian society, while cultivating important traditional ties with their country of origin that have shaped the rich cultural heritage of their community," the Canadian Prime Minister said.

"Throne Day is an important opportunity to reconnect with and celebrate their heritage," he added, noting that it also provides an opportunity for Canadians from all walks of life to better understand Moroccan culture.

The British Ambassador to Morocco also expressed his warm congratulation with the Moroccan King and the Moroccan people. 

 

 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulates King Mohammed VI on the occasion as well. 

Benny Gantz sent a message of congratulations to King Mohammed VI this Thursday, July 29.

"I wish the King every success in continuing the legacy of his ancestors. May the Kingdom of Morocco prosper," Benny Gantz wrote in a message posted on his Twitter account.

 

 

The American embassy in Morocco, also extended its best wishes to the monarch in a tweet. 

 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that President Joe Biden does not have the power to forgive student loan debt, putting her at odds with some members of her own Democratic caucus as the pressure builds on the president to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower. 

"People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not," Pelosi said in response to a question at her weekly news briefing. "He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power." 

The speaker said student loan forgiveness would have to be done through an act of Congress. She noted the policy debate over how much debt could be canceled and for how many people but argued the president couldn't make the decision unilaterally. 

Her comments came just one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley, both of Massachusetts, held their own event calling for the president to extend the pause on federal student loan payments set to expire at the end of September as well as cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt. 

Schumer claimed Mr. Biden could use his "existing legal authority" to cancel that debt. He said it would be even more helpful to borrowers, fuel the economy and deal with racial inequality exacerbated by the cost of education. 

"With all this good, all President Biden has to do is flick his pen, sign it. Make America a happier, better, more prosperous place," Schumer said Tuesday. He indicated they were making progress with the Biden administration on the matter.

"The president can cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. He can wipe out all debt for about 36 million Americans, that's 85% of borrowers and make life a whole lot easier for the remaining 15%," Warren said.

Student loan debt has surpassed $1.7 trillion in the United States, making it the second largest amount of debt owed by Americans behind mortgage debt. Thirty percent of all adults, or just over 4 in 10 people who went to college, said they incurred at least some debt for their education, according to the Federal Reserve.

Pelosi, in response to a question Wednesday, suggested those with children who chose not to go to college may "not be happy" paying taxes to forgive others' student debt obligations. 

Pelosi instead praised Mr. Biden's Build Back Better agenda, saying it offers opportunity for all Americans "whether they go to college or not." The president's plan unveiled earlier this year includes a proposal for free community college as well as other workforce development training.

"We want all of our kids to reach their fulfillment. To the extent that they want to go to college, we do not want them to be prohibited from doing that for financial reasons," Pelosi said. 

The White House has not revealed whether the president would cancel student loan debt. In February, the president said he would not, and that Congress would need to act. In April, his White House chief of staff said a decision had not been made, and the president had asked the Education Secretary for a memo on his legal authority to cancel student loan debt.


source: 
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that President Joe Biden does not have the power to forgive student loan debt, putting her at odds with some members of her own Democratic caucus as the pressure builds on the president to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower. 

"People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not," Pelosi said in response to a question at her weekly news briefing. "He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power." 

The speaker said student loan forgiveness would have to be done through an act of Congress. She noted the policy debate over how much debt could be canceled and for how many people but argued the president couldn't make the decision unilaterally. 

Her comments came just one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley, both of Massachusetts, held their own event calling for the president to extend the pause on federal student loan payments set to expire at the end of September as well as cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt. 

Schumer claimed Mr. Biden could use his "existing legal authority" to cancel that debt. He said it would be even more helpful to borrowers, fuel the economy and deal with racial inequality exacerbated by the cost of education. 

"With all this good, all President Biden has to do is flick his pen, sign it. Make America a happier, better, more prosperous place," Schumer said Tuesday. He indicated they were making progress with the Biden administration on the matter.

"The president can cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. He can wipe out all debt for about 36 million Americans, that's 85% of borrowers and make life a whole lot easier for the remaining 15%," Warren said.

Student loan debt has surpassed $1.7 trillion in the United States, making it the second largest amount of debt owed by Americans behind mortgage debt. Thirty percent of all adults, or just over 4 in 10 people who went to college, said they incurred at least some debt for their education, according to the Federal Reserve.

Pelosi, in response to a question Wednesday, suggested those with children who chose not to go to college may "not be happy" paying taxes to forgive others' student debt obligations. 

Pelosi instead praised Mr. Biden's Build Back Better agenda, saying it offers opportunity for all Americans "whether they go to college or not." The president's plan unveiled earlier this year includes a proposal for free community college as well as other workforce development training.

"We want all of our kids to reach their fulfillment. To the extent that they want to go to college, we do not want them to be prohibited from doing that for financial reasons," Pelosi said. 

The White House has not revealed whether the president would cancel student loan debt. In February, the president said he would not, and that Congress would need to act. In April, his White House chief of staff said a decision had not been made, and the president had asked the Education Secretary for a memo on his legal authority to cancel student loan debt.


source: 
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Saudi rower Husein Alireza continues his Olympic journey on Thursday morning when he takes part in the Men’s Single Scull Semifinal C/D on the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.

The race offers him the chance to raise his ranking at Tokyo 2020 despite not being in medal contention.

On Sunday, Alireza who has been competing with a damaged lung, revealed to Arab News the strategy devised by his team at Tokyo 2020 that has allowed him to manage an injury-hit games. With the 27-year-old unable to perform at full capacity in all his races, a deliberately cautious Men’s Single Sculls Semifinal A/B meant he could focus of the Semifinal C/D and a chance to improve his overall ranking.

“It’s an exciting but tough line-up so we’ll evaluate how the body is feeling closer to the race,” Alireza said yesterday.

A serious rib injury in May had left Alireza with a punctured lung that stopped him training for weeks, and three races in three days in the high heat and humidity of Tokyo — which left three other competitors suffering with heat stroke — were always going to take a physical toll on Alireza, who has had trouble with his breathing in the conditions.

After only training for a few weeks before the start of the tournament, and with his lung capacity still down 10 percent his technical team decided on a path that would give him his highest possible finish.

 

 

source: arabnews

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People fully vaccinated in the United States and European Union — except France — will be allowed to travel to England without having to quarantine on arrival, the UK government announced on Wednesday.
“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps tweeted, adding that the policy will come into force from 4:00 am (0300 GMT) on August 2.
Travelers fully jabbed with a vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency will be able to travel from any country on the British government’s “amber” traffic light list without having to self-isolate at home for 10 days.
They will still need to do a pre-departure test and take another test on day two after arriving in England.
Separate rules will continue to apply for those arriving from France.
Those traveling from an amber list country, which includes most of Europe and the US, who are not fully vaccinated will still have to quarantine on arrival.
The government also confirmed the restart of international cruises.
“This is progress we can all enjoy,” wrote Shapps.
Britain is in the midst of another wave of the virus due to the so-called delta variant, although case numbers have dropped over the past week, while its vaccine drive has seen more than 70 percent of adults fully jabbed.
The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own health policies, and decide their own foreign travel rules.

source: Arabnews

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Morocco's recent discovery of a 1.3 million year-old artifact places it chronologically closer to previous archaeological discoveries across East and South of Africa.

A team of international scientists have discovered  the oldest Acheulean tool in North Africa- a type of distinct oval and pear-shaped stone tool manufacture linked with Homo erectus.

According to the researchers who participated in the discovery, the artifacts were found outside of Casablanca, dating back to 1.3 million years ago, 600,000 years before Acheulean culture was properly established in the region. Other such tools discovered in the region have been dated 1 million years ago, namely the stone artifacts of Tighennif in Algeria, and the Thomas Quarry I-Unit L in Casablanca.

"This is very important because we are talking about prehistoric time, a complex period with little data," said Abderrahim Mohib at a press conference in Rabat. In the process, the team also discovered "the oldest human occupation in Morocco," a variant of Homo Erectus, he added.

The discovery results in further enriching  the ongoing discussion about the emergence of the Acheulian culture in Africa, Mohib explained at the press conference.

Mohib is the co-director of the joint French-Moroccan project "Prehistory of Casablanca," which brought together a team of 17 international researchers from Morocco, France, and Italy participating in the discovery.

The discovery has shifted the timeline of the beginning of the Acheulean culture in Morocco, putting it closer to the beginning of the cultures in South and East Africa- 1.6 million and 1.8 million years ago respectively.

It has also clarified the technological differences between the Moroccan discoveries and their Algerian counterparts, which are dated at about 1 million years back. Morocco's 1.3 million-year-old Acheulean tools explains the lack of certain developments observed in the artifacts discovered in Algeria.

The recent dating work done on the discoveries "will undoubtedly be called upon to play a major role in the understanding of the Acheulean emergence and its pan-African dynamics," noted the paper published in Scientific Reports, an extension of the Nature magazine.

 

Source: Morocco world news.

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Tensions between Algeria and Morocco predate the sucess of Morocco's diplomacy in sub-Saharan Africa.

Isabelle Werenfels, a senior fellow in the Middle East and Africa Division of the Berlin-based Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (the German Institute for International and Security Affairs) published recently a short “study” titled “Maghrebi Rivalries Over Sub‑Saharan Africa: Algeria and Tunisia Seeking to Keep Up with Morocco.” The supposed “study” is at best a white paper, not even a policy note, although some of its parts aspire to be so. 

It has no references at all and lacks scholarly rigor, not showing in any way how it’s different assumptions are warranted by facts or publications or political statements. Nonetheless, it is worth considering it as it gives us a sense of how some German think tanks view the Maghreb’s relations with sub-Saharan countries, as these opinions most probably inform decision-making processes in Berlin, especially at a moment when Germany is aspiring to play an emergent role in geostrategic affairs.  

The paper provides interesting comparisons between the sub-Saharan Africa policies of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, but it makes wildly unsubstantiated assumptions and therefore useless policy recommendations. It states that “Morocco is the Maghreb state with the most sophisticated sub-Sahara policy” but its “Sub-Sahara policy has heightened tensions with Algeria and awakened ambitions in Tunisia.” 

Tensions between Morocco and Algeria were higher in the past when diplomatic relations were cut off and both armies confronted each other in Western Sahara in the late seventies of the 20th century. Tensions are high nowadays over Western Sahara but only secondarily over Morocco’s Africa strategy. It is true that Algiers is wary of Morocco’s successes in Africa, but its leaders seem to be confident Algeria could catch up any time soon, especially if oil prices go up, and if it could capitalize on its strategic alliances with South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Angola. 

The policy recommendation of Isabelle Werenfelsis in this regard is as wild as the central thesis: “The European Union should treat these trends as an opportunity for African integration and triangular EU/Maghreb/Sub-Sahara cooperation. This could counteract Algeria’s feeling of growing irrelevance, strengthen Tunisia’s economy, put Morocco’s hegemonic ambitions in perspective, and thus mitigate the negative dynamics of the rivalry.” 

The author does not provide any evidence for “Algeria’s feeling of growing irrelevance.”

Meanwhile, as one 2017 report put it, “From the statements of its political leaders, it seems that Algeria thinks it is at the heart of things African, both economically and politically. The feeling of irrelevance on the part of Algerians may be a good theory that could explain the ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs’ (Abdelkader Messahel) attacks on Morocco’s successes in Africa on October 20th, 2017.” 

But the same Messahel stated at the same event (the Summer University Forum of Algerian Business Leaders) that Algeria is a story of incomparable economic successes in Africa. It would have been useful if Isabelle Werenfels was intellectually and academically generous enough to tell us how she did arrive at this conclusion, on what basis, what sources, documents or classified or declassified information. 

The wildest of all assumptions is “Morocco’s hegemonic ambitions.” The author surreptitiously mentions “Morocco’s hegemony” in the introduction but never goes back to it in the body of the text to provide evidence. The supposed hegemony of Morocco is a recurrent theme in Algeria’s opposition to Morocco’s anti-colonial efforts in Western Sahara. 

Because France cut a big chunk of Morocco’s Eastern Sahara region in 1955 and kept it under French control, hoping to stay in Algeria forever, Algeria is always scared that Morocco could start claiming back Eastern Sahara once it solidifies its sovereignty over Western Sahara. Hence its depiction of Morocco’s desire to complete its territorial integrity as expansionist or hegemonic. 

The Spanish extreme right buys that theory as well, especially when Morocco claims that Ceuta and Melilla are Moroccan cities occupied by Spain since the 16th century. To translate Moroccan anti-colonial efforts as “hegemonic”, on the part of Isabelle Werenfels, smacks not only of proto-colonialism but of a perverted logic of reversing roles so that victims become bullies. 

Because this is a recurrent Algerian accusation and when juxtaposed to Algeria’s alleged feeling of irrelevance (a non-scholarly touchy-feeling statement), it becomes clear that Isabelle Werenfels is sensitive to Algiers’ point of view. There is nothing wrong or sinful with being pro-Algerian or having a soft point for things Algerian (here is Isabelle Werenfels’s Twitter title banner: “Works on the @SWP_MEA. Has a very weak spot for ”). 

Retweets are not necessarily endorsement, but academic norms and scholarly standards, both very well ingrained in a long German tradition of rigorous and objective research, should be observed when making claims of this nature, especially when we know that they could influence decision makers. 

As I said above, in the absence of references and facts, the document is nothing but a working white paper not worthy of publication by a serious organization like the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. Some Moroccan newspapers called it, mockingly, “a call for Morocco to halt its African policy for Algeria to catch up with it.” I would call it “a desperate appeal from a pro-Algerian author to the EU to stop Morocco from outstripping its neighbors in its Africa policy.” A bizarre call, for sure. But what can’t you do for your soft spots, even when you are a scholar? 

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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The late King died on July 23, 1999 in Rabat after ruling Morocco for 38 years.

Today’s date,  July 23, marks the death of King Hassan II. The Moroccan monarch was in power from 1961 until his death in 1999.

The great king remains a symbol of strength and power for thousands in Morocco.

Intelligence and sharp wit are a combination that reinforced his personality. The King, who was always interested in medical science, was the first foreign monarch to patent an invention in the US.

The late monarch invented a system to study the heartbeat. The invention combined videotape and an electrocardiogram.

King Hassan II, who was a lawyer,  was a man of distinct charisma which made some Moroccans believe that he enjoyed a special “Baraka,” a mystical protective karma.

King Hassan II's funeral brought important delegations from all continents, World leaders, including former president of the US Bill Clinton, attended the funeral.

King Hassan II also helped bring about the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Furthermore, he helped bring about the subsequent agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization, Jordan, and Israel.

It is believed that more than one million Moroccans walked the road to attend the funeral procession, emphasizing the love Moroccan citizens had for him. 

Citizens carried pictures, chanting slogans to mourn the death of their beloved King.

In addition to his mediation efforts, the late monarch is also remembered for the historic Green March. The late king called Moroccan citizens to undertake a peaceful March from the north to the south to defend Morocco's sovereignty over its Sahara.

“We have to do one thing dear people and that is to undertake a peaceful march from the north, the east, the west to the south. It behooves us to act as one man in order to join the Sahara,” King Hassan II said on October 16, 1975.

With respect and appreciation, more than 350,000 Moroccans took the speech to heart without hesitation.

For the King and his  descendants, the Green march is sacred. 

The late King passed on the same ambition and goals to his son, King Mohammed VI who ascended to the throne immediately after the death of his father.

In addition to his commitment to  the middle east, King Hassan was also committed to keeping his connections with other continents alive.

King Hassan II  was also close to the media. Unlike King Mohammed VI, the late monarch accepted interviews with the press, especially with French media.

Fluent in French, the charming monarch amazed journalists as he spoke about democracy and politics.

The iconic monarch was also known for his sartorial choices. Always dressed in a well-tailored suit, the charismatic king charmed his subjects with his compelling voice. 

The late king’s style, charm, and commitment to the betterment of his country will long be remembered by the people of Morocco.

 

source: moroccoworldnews 

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July 22, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Annual, in which Moroccan tribesmen defeated an army of 20,000 Spanish troops.

On the occasion of the commemoration day of the Battle of Annual on July 22, Moroccans ought to celebrate the memory of Abd El Krim El Khattabi, the heroic leader  who fought against colonial expansion. The history of resistance and resilience in the face of colonialism is an essential facet of our history and should be remembered and celebrated. 

Since the signing of the treaty of Fez in 1912, which established Morocco as a French protectorate. As per the protectorate, Morocco was under the control of both France and Spain. However, Spanish presence was more felt in the northern region of the Riff, where Spain sought to broaden its influence. 

Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956. But the still unresolved question of Western Sahara and Spain’s continued presence in Ceuta and Melilla have created political rifts between Morocco and one of its former colonizers. 

The battle of Annual: a struggle against colonial oppression

The Battle of Annual was a military confrontation between Riffian tribesmen (The Rif refers to the northern region of Morocco) and Spanish military forces. Spain suffered a humiliating defeat: around 14,000 Spanish soldiers died, including their general Sylvestre. 

The battle took place in Annual, a region in northeastern Morocco, on July 22, 1921. It was the first of many subsequent confrontations between inhabitants of Northern Morocco and Spanish colonial forces in what is referred to as the Riff War, which lasted from 1912 to 1926.  

This was a massive disaster for the Spanish military, who lost many of their human resources against unorganized tribesmen who didn't have access to advanced military equipment and the specialized training the occupier benefited from. 

Spain faced a humiliating defeat following the battle of Annual, which prompted the country to seek France's help in countering the fierce resistance of indigenous Riffian populations of Northern Morocco. 

Profoundly shaken by the defeat, Primo de Rivera, Spain's prime minister at the time, pledged that he would "wash in blood" the humiliating defeat of the Riff. 

Abdelkrim El Khattabi: A hallmark of fortitude and symbol of resistance

Abd El Krim El Khattabi, symbolic figure of the Northern Moroccan resistance and leader of the Ait Ouriaguel tribe, led 3,000 men to confront an army of more than 20,000 Spanish troops. 

Using the tactics of guerillas and their unmatched bravery, they were able to push back against colonialism. 

Abd El Krim's aim for leading the resistance was not merely to achieve independence but also to fight against colonial encroachment and oppression of the local populations. 

Abd El Krim Al-Khattabi, a household name in 20th century Moroccan history, is a prominent revolutionary warrior of the anti-colonialist movements in the Rif region of Morocco. Known for having led the assault in Annual's battle, his heroic efforts are still praised 100 years later. 

Abd El Krim was born in 1882 in the northern village of Ajdir. He owes his wisdom to the excellent education he received while growing up. He was instructed in the zawias of Tetouan, then pursued his studies in Islamic law at the prestigious Qarawiyyin University of Fez and Spanish law at Salamanca. 

At the age of 24, he moved to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. He became a journalist for the Telegram del Rif, a cadi ("jurist"), and worked for the Spanish administration for several years. After having manifested anti-colonial sentiments, he was put behind bars for what Spanish authorities considered a crime of conscience. 

Back in his native Ajdir in 1919, defying colonial rule, he decided to free the Rif.

This northern Moroccan region bordered by the Mediterranean was then under Spanish control, the rest of the country being placed under the French protectorate. 

What stood out about Abd El Krim is his ability to lead and unite tribes that were previously fragmented, ensuring their success in Annual against better-equipped and better trained forces. 

A well-spoken, astute strategist, and charismatic leader, he successfully managed to bring together the various Amazigh tribes to keep the lid on the region under the threat of invasion. His involvement in an independentist movement in the face of Spain’s desire to establish its dominion over Morocco grew in magnitude after his forces stunned the Spanish army in Annual. 

According to research by Mevliyar Er, Abd-El-Krim guerilla tactics have influenced some of the most revolutionary figures in world history, including Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong. 

Mevliyar notably argues that there is robust historical evidence that Che Guevara employed some of the guerilla tactics of the Moroccan resistance to Spain during the Cuban revolution.

The war that opposed the Abd El Krim-led insurrection and Spanish colonial forces was asymmetrical in all aspects, making the success of the Annual Battle all the more admirable. 

Northern Morrocan’s knowledge of the region and their use of guerilla tactics, as well as their unmatchable bravery, enabled them to push back against the colonizers. 

Following his triumph in the Annual Battle, Abd El Krim proclaimed the confederated republic of the Rif tribes in 1923. A devout believer in reformist Islam and admirer of Turkey’s Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, Abdelkrim endowed the new state with democratic modern state institutions. 

Utilizing the popular uprising, the Rif republic ("Al Jumhuriya Al Rifiya") saw the light of day and was contested for apparent reasons by France and Spain. In an Interview with the Egyptian al-Manar, Abd El Krim vowed: “[We wish to] guarantee our complete freedom to determine our development and the independent direction of our affairs, the right to make treaties and to form alliances that we considered to be suitable.” 

The French feared that this initiative would inspire some of their colonies to follow suit. As a result, General Petain was sent on-site with 200 000 soldiers to “restore order” in Morocco’s Rif region. The French offensive, which lasted from 1925 to 1926, was relentless and ruthless. 

In the face of the massacre of his soldiers and the 150,000 civilians killed by mustard gas, Abdelkrim surrendered to the French army in May 1926.

He lived in exile on the French overseas island of la Reunion between 1926 and 1947. It is believed to be the most prolonged exile imposed by France.

Abd El Krim entered his second exile in Cairo in 1947. His victory capitulated him into international fame. During his stay in Egypt, he participated, at the political level, in the liberation of North Africa from colonial entanglements. He also received visits from illustrious figures such as Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh-who. 

source: moroccoworldnews 

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The decision seeks to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases following the worrisome increase of contamination over the past two weeks.

The Moroccan government decided to strengthen lockdown measures, starting Friday, July 23, following the exponential surge of COVID-19 cases.

The government said the night curfew (11 p.m. and  4:30 a.m.) will be maintained in keeping with the recommendations of the Scientific and Technical Committee.

The measures seek to strengthen the necessary preventive measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19.

A government statement emphasized that movement after 11 is banned at the national level.

Persons working in vital and essential sectors and those in need of urgent medical care are excluded from this ban.

The government decided to reinforce restrictions on intercity travel unless travelers present a   vaccination certificate. 

With the new decision,  restaurants, cafes, theaters, swimming pools, and other public venues must operate at 50 percent of their capacity. 

The statement emphasized that gatherings and activities in open spaces that include more than 50 people have to be authorized through a permit from local authorities.

The government concluded that the threat of the pandemic "still exists and continues unabated, especially with the emergence of new strains" in Morocco.

Over the past two weeks, Morocco recorded between 1,000 and 2,000 cases, with the Delta variant representing 50 percent of new cases.

The  government stressed that “the current situation requires     strict adherence to all directives of the public authorities and all the precautionary measures adopted by the health authorities, in terms of physical distancing."

 

Source: Morocco World News

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The Wiser Wealth Roundtable team provides a book review of The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. In the book, Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics. The team discusses their favorite insights from the book and how we apply many of the best practices Housel recommends in our investing decisions.

SHOW SUMMARY

“Slow and steady wins the race.” – Casey Smith

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel is a book about investing, personal finance and business decisions. Housel describes how financial decisions are typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world, people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing and odd incentives are scrambled together.

Housel provides examples that explore the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

The Wiser team start by discussing the concept of retirement. Social Security began in the 1930s and it wasn’t until the 1960s where the idea of retiring at age 65 became a reality for people. By 1960, 40% of the population continued working past the age of 65. Today, around 20% of people work past the age of 65. With the advent of 401ks in the late 70s and the Roth IRA in 1998, these funds help supplement pensions and social security, making retirement a reality for more people. So much that today there is approximately $36 trillion in retirement assets waiting to be spent down.

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and compounding.

Housel devotes a chapter to the power of time and compounding. Take Warren Buffett as an example. Buffett’s net worth is $84.5 billion. The interesting thing to note is that he accumulated $84.2 billion of that after the age of 50. And $81.5 billion came after the age of 60. Buffet started working early (at age 10), saved early and invested a large portion of his earnings, allowing it to compound. By his 30s, he had over $1 million in savings. By investing early and staying investing, he was able to accumulate large amounts of wealth.

The lesson here is that if someone starts saving between the ages of 25-35 and stops, they will have more money than someone who started saving in their 30s and continued until retirement. Saving more early has major implications due to the power of compounding.

It is not just about compounding but also about HOW you invest. Using index funds is preferred to picking individual stocks. Take, for example, the Russell 3000 Index. It has increased 73x since 1980. Interestingly, 40% of companies in the Russell 3000 index have failed. However, 7% of the companies in the index performed well enough to offset the losses from the 40%. This is a very good case for buying the index vs trying to pick stock wins. Technology stocks were virtually nonexistent 50 years ago. Today, they are more than a fifth of the S&P 500 index. And the share of technology stocks is bringing up the average vs the decline of oil and gas.

Withdrawing investments during a recession

Housel provides his perspective on recessions by providing three different scenarios of investor behavior. These scenarios describe how staying the course and not withdrawing or changing your investment behavior when the market drops is critical to long-term success.

The group discusses the power of fear on investor psychology and how the media uses fear to scare investors into making irrational decisions about their investments. Keeping your cool during uncertain times is key.

Rich vs. wealthy

Someone can be rich, live lavishly and still not be wealthy. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley is another great book that describes those that live less lavishly and are wealthy because they live within their means, save and thus achieve wealth. When we have wealth, we can control our time and time becomes the currency. It provides you with an opportunity to use your money in the ways it benefits you.

The cost of investing for the long-term is that you may experience some volatility. Building investment portfolios with a long-term approach is critical for success.

A question we sometimes hear from clients is what do I do with my savings? Your savings is not supposed to pay you anything. Having enough money in savings gives you the freedom to make different decisions about a new job, house/car repairs, etc. Building savings and having a reserve is your safety margin.

 

source: wiserinvestor.com

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Trials of a four-day week in Iceland were an "overwhelming success" and led to many workers moving to shorter hours, researchers have said.

The trials, in which workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours, took place between 2015 and 2019.

Productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, researchers said.

A number of other trials are now being run across the world, including in Spain and by Unilever in New Zealand.

In Iceland, the trials run by Reykjavík City Council and the national government eventually included more than 2,500 workers, which amounts to about 1% of Iceland's working population.

A range of workplaces took part, including preschools, offices, social service providers, and hospitals.

Many of them moved from a 40 hour week to a 35 or 36 hour week, researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) in Iceland said.

The trials led unions to renegotiate working patterns, and now 86% of Iceland's workforce have either moved to shorter hours for the same pay, or will gain the right to, the researchers said.

Workers reported feeling less stressed and at risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also reported having more time to spend with their families, do hobbies and complete household chores.

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: "This study shows that the world's largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.

"It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks - and lessons can be learned for other governments."

Gudmundur Haraldsson, a researcher at Alda, said: "The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that progressive change is possible too."

Spain is piloting a four day working week for companies in part due to the challenges of coronavirus.

And consumer goods giant Unilever is giving staff in New Zealand a chance to cut their hours by 20% without hurting their pay in a trial.

In May, a report commissioned by the 4 Day Week campaign from Platform London suggested that shorter hours could cut the UK's carbon footprint.

 

source: BBC.com

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Morocco is preparing to receive 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China early next week.

Citing “reliable sources,” TelQuel Arabia reports the two deliveries of the Chinese vaccines are scheduled for May 10 and May 11. 
The two Moroccan aircraft carriers that have left for Beijing will return carrying 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine each, according to the report.

As the Chinese state-owned medical company has grown its production capability of the Sinopharm vaccine, Morocco is expecting an increased regularity of shipments in the coming months.

After a lull in Morocco’s vaccination campaign due to lack of availability of vaccines, the North African country was able to resume the process upon receiving half a million doses of the Chinese vaccines on April 26, and an additional half a million on April 30.

Morocco has received 2.5 million doses of the Chinese vaccine so far.

Last month, the speaker of the National People’s Congress of China, Li Zhanshu, informed Morocco of his country’s decision to supply Morocco with 10 million doses of the Snopharm vaccine in the coming months.

As of May 8, the first doses of Morocco’s national vaccination campaign have reached 5,473,809 Moroccans and residents, while  4,390,752 have received their second dose. 

Moroccan Ministry of Health announced on May 7 the expansion of its vaccination campaign to include 50 year-olds. Previously, the country’s vaccination was limited to populations aged 55 years and above.

COVID-19 infection rate in Morocco has maintained steady low numbers since early February. May 8 saw 314 new infections, bringing the total number of infections to 513,628. On the same day, only 7 people died of COVID-19-related complications.

 

source: moroccoworldnews 

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We’ve always believed that to be smarter and get good grades we must study hard and sometimes for long prolonged hours. However, that usually does not end up being an effective method and might even cause many problems that are difficult to overcome.

Whatever the major or subjects that you have trouble studying for, you have to recognize that studying harder is not necessarily the best method for you. Rather, you have to think more about study techniques, strategies, and habits that are more suitable and effective for you.

When it comes to tight deadlines, cramped lessons, and assignments, even studying your favorite subject does not sound fun. this can lead to procrastination, increased stress, anxiety, and poor performance in school.

Adopting new and smarter study habits can help you effectively study for your courses and prepare for your exams in an easy and more enjoyable manner.

Study in short regular sessions

Studying for long hours during the weekend or till the very few last days before the exam can cause mental and physical fatigue that will negatively affect your performance in school.

In addition, knowing before that you will have to endure intense studying can decrease your motivation and lead to poor concentration, two major factors that help in studying.

Instead, what you can try for a more efficient and less tiring studying is to space out your study sessions and dedicate 30 to one hour of studying each day over several days and weeks depending on the subjects you are studying.

For example, when it comes to history, languages, or science you can take 15-20 minutes every day to revise and repeat what you have done that day or week in school, which will help you remember the information more efficiently.

For subjects such as physics and maths, you can make a goal to solve 4-5 problems each day instead of working on that subject alone for hours before your exam date.

Set realistic study goals

Setting goals is important, whether for studying or for life in general. It can clear confusion and help you move easily from one task to the next without wasting a lot of time.

Setting goals also help us feel more confident and in control of our situation and allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment whenever a goal is achieved no matter if small or big.

However, it is also important to remember that we have to set realistic goals that can be achieved in real life instead of ones that are almost impossible to achieve. To make your studying process more enjoyable, learn to daily and weekly set realistic goals that you can obtain.

For effective goal setting, you can use the SMART method, which means that your study goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Try to make a weekly goal list during the weekend as well as a daily goal list during each night to help you start your day or week motivated and help you be more productive.

Test yourself regularly

What is a better way to prepare for an exam than to quiz yourself? Learn how to quiz yourself after each study session that you have, it can be just for 5-10 mins with questions that test the knowledge you acquired during your study.

This method can be a fun way to learn and a great technique in helping you be more focused and motivated in your study sessions.

Making mistakes in your mini personal quiz however should be okay, because it will help you learn more and allow you to not make that mistake again when you’ll take the actual exam.

Create a study friendly space

An uncomfortable environment that is cluttered and noisy can be distracting and can prohibit you from having an effective or enjoyable study session.

Creating the ideal space for studying is a smart and essential step in preparing your brain to study. Try multiple places to study in whether at home or around campus. Make sure you figure out the right time you enjoy and prefer studying in, it can be in the early morning or late in the evening.

You should make your study space comfortable to sit in, not too cold or hot, and of course not noisy. If you are used to listening to music while studying try to opt for soft music or lo-fi study music that can be less distracting.

Teach others

Teaching others the course that you are studying is another smarter study technique that will help you in remembering the information better by explaining it in your own words.

Studying to teach will help you absorb the material more efficiently so you can be able to teach it and explain it to others.

You can teach what you learned either in a study group or with a study partner. Your study group or partner will help you retain the information better by posing questions that you can answer with a more simplified explanation and examples. You can even teach others using your notes.

Reward yourself

One of the most essential things to keep in mind while studying is to be kind to yourself as well as reward yourself whenever you achieve a goal or complete a task.

Studies might get harder and harder as you grow up, it is not easy to obtain great grades, maintain a social life, and have hobbies and leisure all at the same time.

Nonetheless, it is not impossible, following smarter study strategies, sleeping well, eating good, and rewarding yourself for doing your best can help you build an effective routine that will make your study time more enjoyable and efficient which will of course lead to your personal and professional success in the long term.

 

Source: Chamaalight

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Brahim Ghali was allegedly in possession of a valid ID earlier this year when he visited Spain, Spanish media have revealed. 

Spanish police confirmed he was admitted to a hospital in Logrono under the false identity of “Mohamed Benbatouche,” but they also reported Ghali was in possession of a valid Spanish ID with his legal name that was issued in 2006 and renewed in 2016. The DNI card listed his place of origin as Smara.  

The information was reported in a letter to the Spanish National Court from the General Police Information Commissariat. The letter also states that Ghali was previously registered in Spain’s Foreign Identification Number system. 

Spanish lawyer Antonio Urdiales, who filed a formal accusation against Ghali for using false documentation during his trip to Spain, stated that Ghali’s entrance into Spain to renew his DNI in 2016 coincided with formal accusations for genocide brought against him after his inauguration as president of the disputed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

In a letter Urdiales sent  to the 7th Court of Instruction of Zaragoza, he petitioned the court to seize files related to the issuance of Ghali’s DNI and NIE documents. The lawyer also proposed that the judge order military officials at Zaragoza air base to investigate whether the military police “controlled access to the military installations of the base,” and whether they were present when an ambulance arrived to transport Ghali from the Algerian plane. Lastly, he called for investigations into which security personnel were responsible for the security zone and their identification “by name and surname.” 

Urdiales, along with several other human rights activists, previously voiced concern over Spain’s failure to prosecute Ghali for charges of human rights violations and his presentation of a false identity while in Spain. The militia leader left Spain in June after spending several months at a hospital in northern Spain for COVID-19 treatments. After a judge refused to bring Ghali to trial for the charges, Spain allowed Ghali to leave on an Algerian plane, which quickly transported him to the Algerian capital.  

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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It remains to be seen whether Spain will regain Morocco’s trust with the new government reshuffle, leading to the sacking of the former FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya.

Newly appointed Spanish FM Jose Manuel Albares has emphasized his determination to work towards restoring good relations between Morocco and Spain.

ABC reported that Albares expressed his willingness to work to resolve the crisis between Spain and Morocco on Monday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The news outlet said that among the minister’s priorities is the need to “strengthen relations, especially with Morocco.”

During his statement, the Spanish FM avoided mentioning the source of the crisis between Morocco and Spain.

Spain appointed Albares last week on Saturday after announcing the sacking of Gonzalez Laya as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.

Spain stirred escalated tension in April after it allowed Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to enter its territory for hospitalization.

Ghali entered Spain with a military aircraft without undergoing customs procedure at the request of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ghali also used a fake passport and identity under the name of Mohammed Ben Battouch to enter Spain, as a result of several accusations, including rape, genocide, torture, and forced detention.

Spain and Algeria maintained his hospitalization in a Spanish hospital a secret. A few days upon his arrival, however, Morocco’s intelligence detected his presence in Spain.

Morocco commented on Spain’s collusion with Algeria, saying that it is against the spirit of the relationship and partnership between Rabat and Madrid.

The country also warned of a rupture of ties. Spain maintained that the decision to host Ghali was for humanitarian reasons.

Laya’s controversial remarks against Morocco escalated tensions between the two countries, leading to a frozen diplomatic tie since April.

Since the start of the crisis, Spanish and other European officials have warned that relations with Morocco are crucial and emphasized the need to secure partnership with Rabat.

ABC described Manuel as Pedro Sanchez’ “henchman, who must restore the relationship with Morocco.”

In addition to ABC, Radio Television Ceuta also highlighted the new FM’s determination to work to restore ties with Morocco.

On July 12, the news outlet put a video of Albares, documenting a press conference in which the Spanish FM described Morocco as a great friend.”

It remains to be seen whether the new FM will succeed in helping Spain to regain Morocco’s confidence after several months of “broken trust” between the two countries.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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