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  Morocco Country Guide

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco is a country in North Africa with a population of 33,241,259. It has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches beyond the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco has international borders with Algeria to the east, Spain to the north, and Mauritania to the south. A profoundly historic country, Morocco has evident Arabic, European and African influences throughout its diverse cities. The country is 447,000 sq km, almost the same size as France. Morocco's capital city is Rabat and its largest city is its main port, Casablanca. The official language in Morocco is Arabic, but English, Spanish and French are widely spoken.

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Morocco's leading industry is the mining of phosphates. Its second prevalent source of income is from nationals living abroad who send money to relatives living in Morocco. Tourism is the country's third largest source of revenue.

Morocco is a de jure constitutional monarchy, with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco, with extensive executive powers, can dissolve the government and deploy the military, among other privileges. Currently the King of Morocco is Mohammed VI, and the Prime Minister is Driss Jettou.

 




During the last decade of the rule of King Hassan II and particularly under the reign of Mohammed VI, and with the initiation of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) to investigate the abuses carried out in the name of the state, Morocco is aiming to reconcile with victims. Several new laws and codes in regards to all facets of life are underway. The most noteworthy was the formation of the Mudawana, which is a family code that was the first unique proposal of its kind in the Arab and Muslim world. The code presents women with more rights. The amendment of the Moroccan nationality law, the elimination of capital punishment and other concerns are being debated. In the spring of 2007 the Moroccan parliament is due to vote on these topics.

On July 22, 2004 the United States Senate approved, by a vote of 85 to 13, the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.  This will allow for 98 per cent of the two-way trade of consumer and industrial products to be without tariffs. The agreement entered into force in January 2006. Morocco has signed Free Trade Agreements with the European Union to take effect in 2010.