Morocco Urges Political Transition in Syria
Following international recognition of the Syrian National Coalition as “the ‘legitimate representative’ body of the Syrian people,” Morocco’s King Mohammed VI encouraged the U.N. Security Council to reach an expedient consensus regarding political transition in Syria. Russia and China were both urged by William Burns, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, to vote with the rest of the Security Council in support of the transition. The U.S. and Morocco also signed new trade agreements under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, which U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said “will be key in advancing our countries’ common agenda for jobs and economic growth.”
Former leader of Morocco’s Arab Spring protests, Idris Boutarada, was arrested earlier this week for possession of drugs, though others assert it was because he allegedly dressed in a way that was construed as impersonating the king. Thousands gathered for the funeral of Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, lifelong leader of Morocco’s opposition group “Al Adl wal Ihsan,” on December 14. Yassine’s funeral was held in the capital’s main Mosque, and his body was interred in one of the nation’s official cemeteries, a move many saw as a government attempt to co-opt his legacy and prevent a shrine that would further inspire uprisings.