Morocco can be 'leader' in Israel-Arab peace


By Roee Nahmias

US President Barak Obama sent a special message to Morocco's King Mohammed VI in which he voiced hope that Morocco could play a leading role in peace efforts between Israel and the Arab world.

He also called on Israel to stop settlement construction and said the Palestinians must confront terrorism and put an end to incitement.

Morocco's official news agency, Maghreb Arabe Presse on Saturday reported that in his letter, Obama urged the North African nation to help "convince the parties to engage constructively", stating that this is the only way any negotiations can succeed.

"I hope Morocco will be a leader in bridging gaps between Israel and the Arab world," he said, adding that King Mohammed could contribute constructive collaboration to achieve "a comprehensive peace that includes a two-state solution and an early resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

In his letter, Obama said that for any peace negotiation so to be successful, Israel has to "stop settlements, dismantle outposts, and remove roadblocks," and said the Palestinians must continue "to build up their security forces to confront terrorism, ending incitement, and reforming their institutions to build a Palestinian state".

The president also hailed the personal dedication of King Mohammed VI's and the Moroccan government's efforts "to build the relationships we need to face today's serious challenges".

Obama went on to urge Arab states to provide financial and political support to the Palestinian Authority, and to build on the Arab Peace Initiative to contribute to solving the conflict.

Obama described bilateral relations with Morocco as “historic”, and voiced willingness to work with King Mohammed VI to further reinforce them.
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