Trump and King Mohammed VI of Morocco awarded each other medals for their “positive influence” in the Middle East

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Outgoing US President Donald Trump has awarded King Mohammed VI of Morocco the Order of Merit of First Degree for his “positive influence” on the political scene in the Middle East, especially about the normalization of relations with the State of Israel. Donald Trump, who sees the normalization of several Arab countries in their relations with the Jewish state as a major result of his diplomacy, last month recognized Morocco’s full sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara. The White House said it awarded King Mohammed VI the first-class Order of Merit five days before Trump’s departure in a special ceremony in Washington in the presence of the Moroccan ambassador. Trump also awarded the medal of merit to the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan last month.

The White House has stated that this medal is awarded in honor of the completion of an exceptional mission, or to foreign officials, and can only be awarded by the President of the United States of America. In a statement, Washington indicated that King Mohammed VI worked to strengthen the lasting and deep partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States in all fields. He added that “his vision and courage, especially his decision to resume relations with the State of Israel, has had a positive impact on the political scene in the Middle East and North Africa. This marks the beginning of a new era. of security and prosperity for our two countries, and for the world. “

On the other hand, a major US administration source told Reuters that President Donald Trump received an important recognition from Morocco on Friday for his help in reaching a normalization agreement with Tel Aviv. In a special ceremony held in the Oval Office of the White House, Princess Lalla JamalaAlaoui, Ambassador of Morocco to the United States, presented Trump with the medal of the Order of Muhammad. An award that is awarded only to heads of state, and was presented as a gift by the Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI.

On Friday, State Department Senior Middle East Affairs Official David Schenker attended a hypothetical conference on Western Sahara, organized by the Kingdom of Morocco, focusing on Trump’s position. A joint statement, released at the end of the event, states: “Forty countries attended the conference, including 27 at ministerial level”. The note further explained that the participants pledged to continue to support a solution based on the use of the Moroccan autonomy plan as the only framework for the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara.

The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said participating countries include Arab allies from Morocco and smaller developing countries, as well as France, and President-elect Joe Biden has not pledged to maintain Trump’s recognition. of Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara, the former Spanish colony. The Polisario has witnessed tensions since the 1970s. To date, Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, but the United Nations does not recognize its sovereignty over this area despite Trump’s choices. Turkey is one of the main supporters of the independence movement. This has led to tensions in the past between the two countries, with Morocco accusing Ankara of financing and supporting subversive groups.

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