Thousands march in Morocco to demand release of Rif protesters

RABAT, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Moroccans rallied in the capital Rabat on Sunday to demand the immediate release of jailed activists in Rif protests.

Organized by several opposition political parties and rights associations, the demonstrators strongly denounced the upholding of the sentence of dozens of protesters, which is up to 20 years in prison over the protest that rocked the north-eastern region of the kingdom in late 2016 and 2017.

Walls, fear-mongering won’t stop migration: Pope

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Pope Francis praised Morocco as a model of religious moderation and migrant welcome as he kicked off a trip to the kingdom Saturday, warning that border walls and fear-mongering won’t stop people from exercising their rights to seek a better life elsewhere.

King Mohamed VI welcomed Francis as he arrived during an unusual rainstorm and began a visit aimed at boosting Christian-Muslim ties and showing solidarity with Morocco’s growing migrant community.

Morocco to buy 3.78-bln-USD arms from U.S.

RABAT, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Morocco will buy 3.787 billion U.S. dollars' worth of arms from the United States, the Moroccan financial news site reported Monday.

According to a press release by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency earlier in the day, the deal includes the purchase of 25 F-16/D Block 72 aircraft and related equipment.

Morocco currently has 23 F-16 aircraft.

Thousands march in Morocco's capital to defend free education

RABAT, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people marched on Sunday in the Moroccan capital Rabat to defend free education and show solidarity with protesting teachers.

Organized by the Moroccan Coalition for the Defense of Public Education, the march criticizes the government's "scheme to terminate all public services."

The march, joined by several leaders of leftist opposition parties, denounced a bill under discussion in parliament which calls for the gradual introduction of registration fees in public institutions of higher education and then in high schools.

China grants Morocco 14.9 mln USD to finance pub projects

RABAT, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday signed an agreement with Morocco to provide 100 million yuan (about 14.9 million U.S. dollars) to finance public projects in the north African kingdom.

This deal was inked by Morocco's Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun and Chinese Ambassador to Morocco Li Li.

Benchaaboun thanked the Chinese government for its continuous support for Morocco's economic and social development, while expressing his satisfaction with the quality of the projects undertaken in Morocco with the financial support of China.

Morocco, Nigeria vow to strengthen partnership

RABAT, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Moroccan King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Thursday to strengthen partnership, the Moroccan official MAP news agency reported.

The pledge was made during a telephone conversation between the two leaders following Buhari's re-election as Nigeria's president.

"The conversation was an opportunity to recall the willingness to strengthen the bilateral partnership on strategic projects conducted under the impetus of the two leaders," the report said.

Morocco, Spain ink 11 deals to boost cooperation

RABAT, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Morocco and Spain signed on Wednesday 11 agreements in Rabat to bolster cooperation between the two countries.

In a ceremony chaired by Morocco's King Mohammed VI and King Felipe VI of Spain, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing multi-dimensional strategic partnership.

In the energy sector, Morocco and Spain inked two MoUs, one on the setting-up of a strategic partnership on energy, and the other on the development of a third electric interconnection between the two countries.

170 people dead or missing in latest shipwrecks on Mediterranean: UNHCR

GENEVA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Saturday evening issued a press statement saying that according to emerging reports, an estimated 170 people had either died or gone missing in two latest shipwrecks on the Mediterranean Sea.

UNHCR cited "recent information from NGO sources" as saying that some 53 people have died on the Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean, but it did not mention the exact time of the accident.

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