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Foreign Office Minister for Human Rights visits Morocco

Baroness Anelay makes first official visit to Morocco to discuss human rights and bi-lateral issues.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


British Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay, paid her first official visit to Morocco from 14 - 16 January. The visit focussed on human rights, democratic reform and regional security.

As part of a wide ranging visit, Baroness Anelay had several key meetings including the Prime Minister of Morocco, Abdelilah Benkirane, where she welcomed Morocco’s progress on human rights, including ratification of the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture - and hosting of the 2nd World Human Rights Forum. Further meetings also took place with the Immigration Minister and Interministerial Delegate for Human Rights.

The Minister visited a UK-funded Arab Partnership project, which is strengthening grassroots commitment to democracy by improving Moroccan parliamentarians’ engagement with their constituents.

Baroness Anelay also saw how Morocco is promoting religious moderation and inclusive and tolerant interpretations and practices within Islam, through a visit to an Imams and Mourchidat (female spiritual guides) training centre in Rabat. Morocco’s training of Imams is rigorous and has attracted student Imams from Mali, Tunisia, Libya and the Maldives - as well as female spiritual guides.

Baroness Anelay said:

Morocco is playing an important leadership role for reform and stability in the region. I was pleased to see this during the visit, to welcome their progress and commitment to human rights issues and explore further ways that the UK and Morocco can work together.

The UK is a strong supporter of the ongoing reform process in Morocco and the crucial work of implementing the high standards of the 2011 Constitution. Where the UK has relevant expertise or experience to contribute, we are offering practical support to Morocco in key areas such as human rights and democratic reform.

We will continue to work together to build on the ever-strengthening relationship between our two countries and towards greater stability in the region.

Further information

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Published 16 January 2015