Fair Observer

The Iberian Solution Could Offer Europe More Gas

Never has the question of where Europe’s foreign gas supplies come from, and whether there are alternatives to the continent’s dependence on Russia, been so much debated as in recent weeks. A subject that is usually the preserve of specialists...

The Western Sahara Conflict and Great Power Competition

On December 10, 2020, then-US President Donald Trump recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, circumventing a decades-long UN-sponsored peace process for the territory. In return, Morocco agreed to normalize relations with Israel. The US-brokered agreement goes beyond a simple quid pro quo for Trump’s Arab peace deals. It represents a US investment in a North African security partner that is key to Washington’s conception of great power competition. Trump’s decision...

Fair Observer

Pastoral Nomads in North Africa Consider In-Place Farming

North African pastoralism, an agricultural method used for centuries by nomadic people in the steppe highlands, is on the decline. Facing limited grazing land due to overuse and drought, pastoral nomads are favoring more sedentary farming methods like growing fruit or nut trees and crops. Developmental nonprofits in the area have begun working with communities facing scarce economic prospects in the face of “extreme” climate events like drought, which occur...

Fair Observer

Not All Quiet on the Western Sahara Front

On October 21, groups of Polisario Front’s supporters blocked the highway at Guergarat, in the extreme southwest of the Western Sahara. This is in the buffer zone between territory controlled by Morocco and the land claimed by the Polisario — the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, the rebel movement fighting for the independence of the former Spanish territory of Western Sahara, now under...

Fair Observer

Will Morocco Normalize Relations With Israel?

Commentators from major news outlets have commented that Morocco will be among the first Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel and exchange ambassadors following the Israeli-Emirati agreement. As the former US ambassador to Morocco and having closely followed the policies and opinions of King Mohammed VI for the past 20 years, I am not so sure that Morocco will be next. There are two overriding issues to consider in this regard....

Fair Observer

What the US Can Learn From Morocco

Since early June, an estimated 15 to 26 million people across the United States have participated in protests against the death of George Floyd and the persistence of systematic racism in America. Recent trends have shown that support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement — more than 67% — has doubled since 2016. Moreover, a majority of Americans favor working directly with black Americans to solve local issues. Morocco Pays a...

Fair Observer

Morocco Looks to a Future After COVID-19

Many countries are facing declining growth rates due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Morocco is no exception. Given lockdowns and flight restrictions implemented worldwide from March, the tourism and hospitality sectors — usually the third-largest component of GDP — have suffered enormous losses and almost collapsed during the first 90 days of the global response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. In the latest World Bank report, “Morocco...

Fair Observer

Morocco Sets Out a Post-Coronavirus Recovery Strategy

Morocco is committed to finding opportunities to restructure and redirect its economy to be better prepared for other potential calamities, such as the coronavirus pandemic. The economy is already facing a downturn due to drought, which may result in as much as a 42% decline in cereal production for 2019-20. However, given advances in the agricultural sector over the past few years, overall agricultural GDP is not expected to fall by more...

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