**The goal of the dialogue is to build a dynamic, growing, and future-looking relationship with Morocco — Voice of America**
Voice of America/VOA Editorial (Washington, DC, Sept. 21, 2012) – “The United States looks to Morocco to be a leader and a model,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in opening remarks at the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue. The goal of the dialogue is to build a dynamic, growing, and future-looking relationship with Morocco.
One area of focus is political reform. Morocco has stayed ahead of changes in North Africa by holding free and fair elections, empowering the elected parliament, and taking other steps to ensure that the government reflects the will of the people.
Secretary Clinton commended Morocco for its commitment to take on the problem of child marriage. Child brides are less likely to get an education, more likely to face life-threatening problems, particularly around child birth and delivery, which often robs them and their communities of their lives and talents. That’s why the U.S. encourages the Moroccan government and civil society to continue their work on this issue.
“With regard to the Western Sahara,” said Secretary Clinton, “the U.S. continues to support efforts to find a peaceful, sustainable, and mutually-agreed upon solution. U.S. policy toward the Western Sahara has remained consistent for many years. We have made clear that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic, and credible, and that it represents a potential approach that could satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity. We continue to support the negotiations carried out by the United Nations and hope parties can work toward resolution.”
The recent deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, made it clear that security remains a vital issue. Through the Global Counterterrorism Task Force, the U.S. and Morocco have a close working relationship to counter such security threats.
And finally, education and cultural ties continue to be very successful. This year marks the 30th anniversary of various academic exchange programs. There are more than 5,000 Moroccan alumni of these programs.
“I am confident,” said Secretary of State Clinton, “that we will continue to solve problems and produce results that make our nations stronger, more peaceful, more secure, more prosperous, and also contribute to doing the same for the world.”