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Moroccan Envoy in U.S. Reports on Moslem-jewish Relations in Morocco

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The Moroccan Ambassador to the United States, Ali Bengelloun, told the American Jewish Committee here today that Jewish and Moslem communities in his country have an “excellent relationship” which is becoming “even stronger.”

“The independence of our country contributed to the strengthening of the relationship between Jews and Moslems, and will permit the integration of the Jews of Morocco into the political life of the country with the same rights and the same obligations as those of their Moslem compatriots.” Ambassador Bengelloun stated at a dinner-meeting of the American Jewish Committee.

The Committee estimates that there are approximately 65,000 to 80,000 Jews currently living in Morocco. Mr. Bengelloun, in outlining the situation of the Jewish community in Morocco, claimed that “there exists no Jewish problem in my country.” He pointed out that Moroccan Jews “play an important role in the commercial and industrial life of the country” and make important contributions to the economy of the nation.

Since the establishment of Morocco’s independence, the Ambassador said, Jews have achieved important positions in various ministerial posts, the legislature, the civil service and the courts. “Elsewhere, in private life.” Mr. Bengelloun said, “physicians, dentists, lawyers of the Jewish faith, practice under the same conditions as their Moroccan fellow citizens.” He pointed out that three Jewish parliamentary representatives have been elected, one to the House of Representatives and two to the Chamber of Counsellors.

Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, told the Ambassador: “We are pleased to recognize that Morocco has completely honored the promises and commitments of King Mohamed V and his son King Hassan II, that Jews of Morocco would be full and equal citizens of the country, and that their basic rights would be protected.” He drew particular attention to the fact that the Moroccan Government has “honored the right of freedom of movement which exemplifies an attitude of humanitarianism to its citizens.”

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