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Thursday, June 20, 2024
King's Speeches

King highlights Morocco's permanent willingness to negotiate autonomy only, autonomy in whole, and nothing but autonomy

On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the King’s enthronement, His Majesty King Mohammed VI said speech on Monday, in Tangier, that Morocco which participated in good faith in the first round of negotiations on the Sahara is "always ready to negotiate autonomy only, autonomy in whole, and nothing but autonomy.



His Majesty added that the agreed autonomy "will be only under the full and permanent and inalienable sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco, national unity and indivisible territorial integrity." 

His Majesty the King expressed in a speech to the nation on Monday to mark the eighth anniversary of His Majesty’s enthronement Morocco's intention to "serious and sincere negotiations." His Majesty said, "Even if the course of negotiations will be long and arduous, our hand will remain
extended to all parties involved for political settlement to this artificial conflict to persuade them of the historic opportunity offered."

The King said that the objective is to make this historic opportunity, "a victory for all parties for the right and legitimacy and an opportunity for the spirit of brotherhood good neighborliness and Maghreb unity", expressing confidence in "winning the path to self-determination, with the help of God, and thanks to the national consensus, with the participation of all Sahrawis without exclusion or discrimination. "

His Majesty called in this regard on all the "inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara expatriates from home wherever they are, in Tindouf, in particular, to work on expanding the involvement of all the brothers in this initiative for reconciliation and reunification, and safeguarding their dignity."

To promote positive transformation excreted by the Moroccan initiative to negotiate autonomy in the southern provinces in the framework of the Kingdom's sovereignty and territorial integrity, national unity, His Majesty the King said "we are required to support it by democratic and development initiatives within the framework of a comprehensive strategy, as well as mass mobilization, strengthening internal front”

His Majesty the King outlined in this regard that Morocco "will abide by any political agreement on its basis, with all the parties effectively. In any case, Morocco will not be held hostage, but will go ahead with its political development, armed with our democratic precious background that we should be proud as an advanced model in our region. "

After stating that the issue of territorial integrity knows a critical juncture excreted by the initiative of Morocco, His Majesty the King said, "We are satisfied with the position of the Security Council, and the United Nations, describing the initiative as serious and credibile, and with every UN responsible and constructive care, for serious and sincere negotiations about it."

His Majesty praised in the same context "strong actors in the international community and sisterly and friendly countries which supported it. This is why it imposed itself on the international agenda, as a new form of self-determination, in conformity with the international legitimacy."

His Majesty the King concluded by saying "if there was a description to be given to Morocco at the present stage, it is the comment made the UN Security Council and the international community about our initiative describing it as serious and credibile. We believe that this international recognition applies to all reaching reforms we have made all (...) with determination. "

  Source: MAP

 Here follows the full text of the speech delivered by King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the Throne Day:

Praise be to God      Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin


My loyal subjects,

    The commemoration, today, of the eighth anniversary of my accession to the Throne comes at a historic juncture marked by in-depth reforms, crucial issues and sweeping changes. To rise to the challenges of the moment, we need clear vision and sound planning in order to address the urgent issues facing us. At this juncture, it is important for us to consolidate our achievements and forge ahead with the necessary reforms, so as to prepare our country for the future, and pave the way for major initiatives and projects, and for the stakes ahead, whatever the challenges. We shall, in this respect, use a democratic, participatory approach, rely on ourselves, and bank on our human resources, for they constitute the greatest blessing one can seek from the Creator.

    I am speaking to you in my capacity as Amir Al Muminin (Commander of the Faithful), who is entrusted with the sacred mission of leading you, as per the Bei'a (act of allegiance) and the Constitution. I am also speaking to you in my capacity as King and as a citizen who is keenly aware of the real concerns of Moroccan men and women, thanks to the fact that I am in close, regular contact with them. I am particularly attentive to Moroccans' aspirations and daily needs, which are duly taken into account when priorities are set. The threefold objective of this democratic approach is to:

- build on the structural reforms already achieved;
- speed up current reforms and ensure their optimal implementation; and
- pave the way for new ones.
 
   My loyal subjects,

   The question of our territorial integrity is now at a defining moment thanks to the Moroccan Initiative for negotiating autonomy for our Southern Provinces, within the Kingdom’s sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.

    I wish to express our satisfaction with the position of the Security Council and of the United Nations, which supported our initiative, describing it as "serious and credible". Morocco appreciates all responsible, constructive UN-sponsored efforts for serious negotiations on the Initiative. I should like to pay tribute to the influential powers in the international community and to friendly and sister nations which backed our position. This brought the Moroccan Initiative under the global spotlight; it is a modern type of self-determination which is fully consistent, in terms of both form and substance, with authentic, international legality.

    I should like, on your behalf, to stress that Morocco is committed to serious negotiation on the basis of the two following elements: first, having taken part, in good faith, in the first round of negotiations, Morocco is and will remain ready to negotiate on autonomy, and nothing but autonomy; second, the consensual autonomy solution can be conceived only within the framework of the Kingdom’s full, non-negotiable sovereignty and national unity, and its indivisible territorial integrity. However long and arduous the negotiating process might be, we will continue to reach out to all the parties which are truly concerned by the political settlement of this artificial dispute. We will seek to convince them of the historic opportunity offered by the Initiative. We want this solution to be a victory not only for all the parties, but also for justice and for legality; and we want the spirit of fraternity, good neighborliness and Maghreb unity to prevail.

    We are confident that we will win the consensual self-determination process, by the grace of the Almighty and thanks to the nation’s unanimity regarding this question and to the participation of all Sahrawis, without exclusion or discrimination. I call upon my loyal subjects from the Moroccan Sahara who are outside the fatherland - wherever they may be - especially those held in Tindouf, to ensure wider support for this Initiative among their brothers. Indeed, this Initiative is likely to achieve their reconciliation, enhance their unity and preserve their dignity.

    I should like, in this respect, to pay tribute to the Royal Armed Forces, especially those stationed in our Southern provinces. I wish to assure them of my esteem and consideration, and to tell them how proud Moroccans are of their steadfastness and of the sacrifices they make to preserve the nation’s territorial integrity. I shall continue to improve the living conditions of all members of our Armed Forces, including those who have retired.

    In order to consolidate the positive changes this promising Initiative has brought about, we have to support it with democratic and development-oriented initiatives based on an integrated, comprehensive strategy. We have to ensure the nation’s mobilization and consolidate the internal consensus. This Initiative is like a good plant; it needs constant care and attention. Morocco pledges to honor any mutually accepted political agreement reached with the parties concerned and based on the Initiative.Under no circumstances, however, will Morocco be made hostage to the calculations of others. Our country will follow through with its political process, and build on its invaluable democratic achievements. They are a model for the region, and we should be proud of them.

    In this connection, we all have a duty to make sure the next general election stands as a landmark in the process of consolidating standard democratic practice in our country. Elections should reflect the will of the people, and produce a credible majority as well as an efficient opposition. The main criterion should be programs and platforms, not empty slogans about reform and change, or useless outbidding tactics, in which reform is advocated “for reform’s sake” and change “for change’s sake”.

My loyal subjects,

    I shall be at the forefront of those who challenge any attitude which questions the usefulness of elections or disparages political parties. Similarly, I shall fight all practices which might undermine the credibility of elections. Considering the degree of political maturity we have reached, we should be able to rise above misleading or nihilistic interpretations which damage the credibility of the electoral process. Elections are not a contest on national identity or on the nation’s fundamental values, which include open, moderate Islam, constitutional monarchy, national unity, territorial integrity and social democracy. These are immutable values for which there is unanimous support, and no country can exist without sacred, indisputable values. Nor are elections about such major, strategic orientations of the nation as the rule of law, citizenship rights and obligations, economic liberalism, free enterprise, solidarity and social justice, or openness to the world. There is national consensual agreement about these major orientations, which fulfill the requirements of the current era, and my mission consists in preserving them, whatever the circumstances, particularly as they are in line with my perception of a monarchy that cares deeply about the citizen. 

    The nation’s fundamental values and guiding policies must not become mere slogans; in this respect, I am pleased to note that committed political parties now present specific electoral platforms and programs. This is a particularly important development which reflects the ultimate objective and the true meaning of elections. The latter must be a contest between all political parties without exclusion; the aim is to define the priorities of the next legislature and reflect the free choice of the people.

    I should like to point out, in this respect, that the governance system I seek to apply is that of an efficient, civic-minded monarchy which cannot be reduced to a mere distribution of powers between an executive organ, a legislative body and a judicial authority. These constitutional institutions have competences of their own, which are exercised apart from those of the Monarch. This is the truly authentic Moroccan monarchy we have chosen for ourselves, whose effectiveness I have reinforced through the citizens’ commitment to development. It is a system based on strong attachment to a quadruple legitimacy: religious, historical, constitutional and democratic; it is also based on deep respect for the nation’s struggle and the sacrifices made for the country’s sovereignty, unity and progress, as well as on the permanent symbiosis between the people and the Throne.

    However legitimate conventional representative democracy may be, we still feel it needs to be supported by modern, participatory democracy. Such an approach makes it possible to tap national and regional expertise, and build on the contributions of civil society and all of the nation’s forces, wherever they may be and regardless of their convictions or leanings.  I think highly of all national stakeholders and partners. I respect the proposals they put forward and the views they express - in keeping with the rule of law and respect for the nation’s institutions - on public affairs, including the country’s crucial issues. I shall continue to see to it that their proposals are submitted to the constitutional institutions and specialized agencies concerned for consideration and action.

    I expect our political parties to come up with competent elites to run public affairs and to be held accountable for their actions and performance.

    Hence, I am counting on you, my loyal subjects, to realize the extent of your responsibility regarding the choice of the people who will represent you, through fair, transparent elections. We will soon have an opportunity to consider, together, the measures that need to be taken to make the coming elections a landmark event and ensure the success of the gradual institutional reform through more comprehensive, loftier changes.

    We need to give priority, at this stage, to two urgent matters: first, support and consolidate the momentum created by the autonomy Initiative, and muster all resources for the phases to come; and second, rise to the challenge of the forthcoming elections to bring about a sound, rational political landscape. The electoral process should lead to a coherent majority from which an effective, compact cabinet should emerge. It should be a reflection of clear-cut, complementary political forces dedicated to serving the priorities of our state policy. Narrow partisan considerations should not be allowed to interfere. There are vast prospects for committed political work, and winning a seat in parliament or securing a cabinet position should not be the main objective. Considering the extensive powers granted local governments, whether they are run by the majority or the opposition, there is much that can be done in areas that are closer to citizens. Indeed, elected local governments have considerable prerogatives in the management of citizens’ daily affairs.

My loyal subjects,

    To preserve our accomplishments, we need to keep up our development endeavors, promote security and stability, and be close to citizens. In this regard, I am determined to give strong impetus to the promising projects of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), which I perceive as the permanent project of my reign. I shall continue to supervise and monitor closely the proper implementation of INDH projects, and I will not allow any self-interested, self-serving use of these projects which might turn them into empty slogans. Our ultimate objective should remain the improvement of the living conditions of the populations who are suffering from poverty, illiteracy, marginalization and social exclusion, and to protect them against any inclinations toward isolation, extremism or terrorism. Let me reiterate, in this respect, that we all have a responsibility to help release the positive, innovative energies of our youth, and to use those energies to serve worthy causes, instead of allowing our young ones to be manipulated by the forces of darkness, who exploit their candor and ingenuousness to make them carry out suicide attacks, which are prohibited on both legal and religious grounds.

    I should like, once again, to pay tribute to our territorial authorities and to the national Police Force, the Royal Gendarmerie, the Auxiliary Forces and the civil protection agencies. I want them to know that I shall continue to be attentive to the needs of all people in charge of defense and security, and that I will seek to improve their living conditions and those of their family members, in appreciation of the sacrifices they make to ensure the security of citizens and to preserve the country’s territorial integrity. I commend them for their vigilance and for the dedication they have shown in dealing with criminal acts, including aggression, terrorism and intimidation.

    The keen sense of civic responsibility shown by Moroccans, men and women alike, is highly commendable. Our citizens understand that security is everyone’s concern. Needless to say, the despicable phenomenon of terrorism will not affect the irreversible choices we have made. We shall seek to uproot terrorism, using a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to strengthen our police force, which will be given the human and material resources it needs, in accordance with my instructions. This approach seeks to combine development endeavors with intellectual and cultural creativity, which is essential in the fight against extremism and obscurantism. Scholars, intellectuals and cultural institutions must shoulder their responsibilities in the area of civic education and of enlightening people. Although the ebb and flow phenomenon is natural in thought patterns, we should not allow an intellectual crisis to create a vacuum that could be filled with destructive ideas. We therefore need to foster enlightened religious revival in our country as well as a modern intellectual renaissance.

My loyal subjects,

    Through the implementation of our planned projects, we have made many accomplishments in sectors in which the government has a clear vision. And, by the grace of God, there are now countless national, regional and local structural projects being carried out throughout Morocco. These achievements would not have been possible without the confidence of our citizens and of investors; nor would they have been possible without Morocco’s credibility in the eyes of its foreign partners, and without its commitment to good governance.

    To build on these accomplishments, each one of us has to work hard and show great resolve to see the current reforms through, and to launch new and vital projects. We must continue to support free enterprise, encourage our youth to set up small and medium-size businesses, and support major civic-minded companies. Our aim is to create job opportunities for our youth, as this is the litmus test for any meaningful political platform.
   
    So, enough of these theoretical studies about gaps and imbalances. We have plenty of objective studies that have been carried out by various institutions and agencies. What we need to do is propose feasible programs, taking into account the priorities of each stage.

    The judiciary tops the list of the sectors which must be given priority in the coming phase. Not only is justice the mainstay of governance, but it is also the cornerstone of the rule of law, of the equality of all citizens before the law, and of good governance. Because justice boosts development and investment, there has to be across-the-board mobilization to reform the judiciary and enhance its autonomy, of which I am the guarantor. Our goal is to increase confidence in the judiciary, and ensure judicial security which hinges on enhanced professional skills and integrity. We can achieve this by preserving the sanctity and ethics of the judiciary, and by continuing to modernize the sector, to reinforce it with human and material resources, and to streamline the general legal framework.

    Another vital sector in which I am just as determined to ensure optimal reform is that of education and training. Indeed, there can be no promising future for our young generations if we fail to take the bold steps required to tackle the complex issues of education and training.

    Despite earnest efforts to implement the education and training charter - which remains a fundamental reference document - the quantitative results obtained have not led to the qualitative change expected, nor have they had a decisive impact we anticipated in terms of promoting good education and meeting the needs of our economy.

    We must, therefore, pursue the implementation of the vital and inevitable reforms initiated in this sector, before it is too late. The aim is to enhance good governance in this field and come up with objective solutions to pending issues, particularly those relating to financing, the rational management of resources, languages of instruction, the modernization of programs and curricula, and the emphasis to be placed on literacy.  

    Similarly, we should strive doubly hard to rehabilitate the public education system, and encourage private education, while ensuring equal opportunity for all.

    As regards territorial governance, I am keen to strengthen the policy of devolution and regionalization. An efficient regionalization policy should go hand in hand with extensive and practical devolution, and with the creation of major centers to which state authorities would delegate powers and allocate the resources required as part of an integrated regional approach.

    Once again, I should like to point out how keen I am to gradually set up a modern regional system involving all of the Kingdom’s regions; a system based on solidarity, extensive powers and new administrative boundaries. Such a truly Moroccan process would reflect the nation’s will, taking into account the specificities of each region, including our beloved Southern Provinces, for which we have come up with an exclusive autonomy Initiative as a final, consensual solution to resolve the dispute over these provinces.Whether it is autonomy, which is applicable exclusively to the Moroccan Sahara as part of a mutually acceptable political solution, or the new regionalization system, which will concern all other regions of the Kingdom, such approaches will be implemented only within the framework of Morocco’s sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity.

    The need to build on the achievements made in rural development, by coming up with an agricultural development strategy, is just as important. It will be an ambitious strategy based on a new agricultural policy as well as on a comprehensive, sustainable approach to the problem of scarce water resources and the need to ensure their rational use. The strategy will deal with drought as a virtually structural phenomenon which calls for effective public policies. To make sure sustainable development is achieved evenly and harmoniously in both urban and rural settings, development should be promoted in our cities thanks to coherent urban policies that uphold the right to life with dignity, and reflect the authentic Moroccan values of neighborliness, solidarity and social harmony.

    One of the main issues which calls for a future-oriented approach is that of energy. And to make sure our energy needs are covered, we have to diversify our national energy supply sources, develop alternative sources, and rationalize the use of energy.

My loyal subjects,

    In addition to combining democracy with development, my governance system is based on harmony between domestic and foreign policy. Thanks to our democratic approach and to our achievements in the area of development, which are internationally recognized, Morocco’s standing abroad and its influence in the world have been significantly enhanced.

    I wish to express my satisfaction with the Moroccan diplomatic service and commend the positive measures it has undertaken under my stewardship. It has managed to apply a modern, effective and pro-active approach in a complex and swiftly changing regional and international environment fraught with perils and intrigues. Credit should be given to all the forces that count in the nation, and to our official and parallel diplomacy for their joint efforts. Through bold action, it has been possible to promote our just cause, and to foster our vital interests by being strongly involved in the global issues which are of concern to the international community.

    To build on the progress made, the government should provide our diplomatic service with the material means and competent human resources it needs in order to ensure effective participation in forums and in meetings of international institutions throughout the world, and to enable it to rise to regional and global challenges.

    Thanks to its wise foreign policy, Morocco has become an effective partner in promoting global issues, including peace and security, the fight against terrorism, cultural and inter-faith coexistence, respect for human rights, the advancement of women, as well as sustainable development, environmental protection and good governance.

    Morocco’s commitment to these values and objectives can been assessed through specific geo-political priorities.

    True to the spirit of solidarity, we have been supporting sister African nations and their peoples, especially in the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa, by contributing to their security, stability, human development and the preservation of their sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity, and by helping them deal with the complex issues they are facing. Morocco has also been working on promoting South-South cooperation, and it intends to participate actively in the promising Mediterranean union project.

    With the same earnest resolve, Morocco seeks to strengthen its fraternal bonds, fruitful cooperation and effective solidarity with sister Arab nations, especially in the economic sector, the cornerstone of joint Arab action.

    I wish to confirm Morocco’s support for the just causes of the Arab Ummah, particularly our Palestinian brothers’ right to set up their independent State, with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital; a state based on the rule of law and institutions, under the legitimate leadership of my brother, President Mahmoud Abbas. I support his dedicated efforts to achieve reconciliation and safeguard the unity of the Palestinian people, in accordance with national and international legality, the Arab Peace Initiative and the agreements signed by the parties concerned. I also encourage all measures which enhance security and stability in Iraq, Lebanon, the Sudan and Somalia, and respect their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Building the Maghreb Union will remain a prime objective of our foreign policy as well as a top priority for us.

My loyal subjects,
    If one were to give a descriptive assessment of Morocco’s endeavors today, one may wish to recall the words of the Security Council - and through it the entire international community - which referred to Morocco’s Initiative for negotiating autonomy as “serious and credible”. In my view, this international acknowledgement also applies to the in-depth reforms we have introduced jointly, as well as to the significant changes we are implementing together, and which I am spearheading with great resolve.

    Surely, the above description is an honor for us. But more importantly, it involves added responsibilities for us, which compel us to strive doubly hard and to be mobilized in order to preserve this precious accomplishment. This achievement was made possible by our confidence in ourselves and by the world’s endorsement of our basic choices.

    I shall remain the King and citizen that you have always known me to be; an unrelenting militant in all parts of Morocco as well as abroad; one who is keen to promote unity and democracy, development and progress, solidarity and positive interaction with the outside world and with the changes affecting it. At the same time, I shall continue to safeguard the specificities of the Moroccan identity. My ultimate objective is to enable each Moroccan man and woman, at home and abroad, to enjoy a life of dignity. In this regard, our action will continue to be guided by deep faith, strong resolve, responsible conduct, and confidence in the future. Our foremost asset will remain the symbiosis between the people and the Throne, a relationship which has always helped us overcome obstacles. We shall continue to draw inspiration from the spirit of sacrifice and dedication to the homeland, typified by the nation’s liberator, my revered grandfather His Majesty King Mohammed V, and by the architect of the modern Moroccan State, my venerated father His Majesty King Hassan II, God bless their souls. We shall continue to cherish the sacrifices made by their comrades in arms, and pay tribute, at the same time, to all those who are pursuing the struggle, under my leadership and by the grace of the Almighty, to build a nation committed to the principles of full-fledged citizenship.

    "Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Yourself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!". True is the Word of God.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

 

 

 

 

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