Morocco King Urges MPs to Confront 'External Threats'

By Asharq Al-Awsat
Morocco's King Mohammed VI poses with members of the new government at the Royal Palace in Fez, Morocco, October 7, 2021. Moroccan Royal Palace/Handout via REUTERS.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI urged the country's new parliament on Friday to defend the country's sovereignty and "stand up to external threats" amid "challenges and risks" in the region.

Addressing lawmakers a day after he named a new government, the king urged them to focus on "consolidating Morocco's standing and the defense of its supreme interests, especially in a context charged with challenges, risks and threats".

King Mohammed called Friday for measures to secure self-sufficiency in foodstuffs, medical supplies and energy "to strengthen the country's strategic security".

His speech via video link came a day after he announced the cabinet of incoming prime minister, Aziz Akhannouch.

The king said the economy was set to grow by 5.5 percent in 2021, after a seven percent recession last year in the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.

He called on Akhannouch to lead "national efforts" to overcome the crisis and push forward a program to bring healthcare to 22 million of the country's 36 million population by 2025.

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