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Moroccan King Brings Vision of Mideast Peace to Clinton

As the Middle East peace process continues to move in fits and starts, a key supporter, King Hassan II of Morocco, brought his vision of Middle East peace to President Clinton last week.

The peace process is stalling because it is not a full-fledged peace yet, Hassan said in his welcoming remarks at the White House on March 15.

“Peace hasn’t taken place in all areas of interest,” Hassan said through an interpreter. “For peace to be achieved, the pace of the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis needs to be accelerated away from any equivocations liable to cause the peace process to falter.”

Hassan’s visit also focused on strengthening Moroccan-U.S. economic ties, the Arab boycott of Israel, negotiations between Israel and Syria and the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. The boycott is an important issue for the peace process, said Hassan, whose country has taken significant steps to ease its own boycott of Israel.

“We are not looking into the peace process without looking into the economic peace process also,” he said.

The boycott is an Arab League issue, he added. “I would say that there has to be a compromise among the members of the Arab League if the boycott is to be lifted,” he said.

Hassan was optimistic about Syria and Israel restarting peace talks and said progress there could have a positive effect on the boycott.

“In today’s world, the reality of political relations should reflect that of economic distinctive historic ties,” Hassan said.

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