Moroccan Foreign Policy at the Crossroads
The Arab World is now split in two camps: those who support constitutional political processes, pluralism and inclusive politics, and those who back counter-revolutionary forces, which aim to stop the spread of democracy and preserve authoritarianism at all costs.
Morocco’s foreign policy is at a crossroads. The Kingdom is already allocating more attention to West Africa, and there is a combined sense of apprehension and fatigue of perfidious Arab politics. Morocco’s decades-old alliance with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is going through many bumps, which led to a re-evaluation of its strategic posture vis-à-vis many conflicts, such as in Yemen and Libya.
Several multi-layered factors are seemingly behind such repositioning. Chief among them is the post-Arab Spring trajectory. Faced with waves of protests in February 2011, Morocco’s King Mohammad VI decided to deal with the protestors’ demands via dialogue and constitutional reforms, undertaking some significant reform initiatives while also co-opting different activists into the political system. Such a political move helped to stabilize the country, which managed to stand above the political fray in the Middle East and North Africa.
Morocco’s decades-old alliance with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is going through many bumps. In contrast, the Saudi/UAE axis chose to follow a different path. Blinded by hubris and the fixation on stopping democratic progress in the region, the axis implemented a bellicose agenda, inflaming conflicts in the process. In Morocco, media reports suggest that the UAE meddled in the internal affairs of the country to undermine the Party of Justice and Development (PJD).
*This article was originally published on The New Turkey
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