The Kingdom of Morocco is a country in northwest Africa. It has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea.
Morocco has annexed Western Sahara, but this is not universally recognized.
The full Arabic name of the country translates to The Western Kingdom. Al-Maghreb (meaning The West) is commonly used in Arabic. The name in most other languages originates from the name of the former capital, Marrakech.
Main article: History of Morocco
Morocco was a French protectorate from 1912, remaining a Kingdom, and achieved independence in 1956. It then took control over Tangier, formerly an international city. The northern area of Morocco was under a Spanish protectorate concurrently. Morocco annexed Western Sahara in the 1970's, which had been a colony under the Spaniards since the 19th century. Previous to that it had been an area of Moroccan influence, but this has not been recognized by many nations.
Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledging American republic in 1777 and has the oldest non-broken friendship treaty with this country, the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship, which has been in effect since 1783. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the American signatories. The United States legation (embassy) in Tangier, now a museum, is one of the oldest official American buildings outside the US.
Main article: Politics of Morocco
The King of Morocco is an active leader, although decreasingly so. Political parties are legal and a plethora of them exist.
See also: List of political parties in Morocco
Provinces of Morocco
Morocco is divided into 37 provinces and 2 wilayas*:
Three additional provinces, Ad Dakhla (Oued Eddahab), Boujdour, and Es Smara, as well as parts of Tan-Tan and Laayoune, fall within Moroccan-claimed Western Sahara.
note: as part of a 1997 decentralization/regionalization law passed by the legislature, 16 new regions (provided below) were created, although the full details and scope of the reorganization are limited:
Geography of Morocco
Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast, though the Algerian border is closed http://www.sahara-overland.com/routes/. There are also four Spanish enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla Peñon Velez de la Gomera and Peñon de Alhucemas, as well as several islands including Perejil (status disputed) and Chafarinas. Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese.
Morocco's capitol city is Rabat, and its largest city is Casablanca.
Other cities include Agadir, Dakhla, Essaouira, Fes, Laayoune, Marrakech, Meknes, Oujda, Safi, Smara, Tangier, Tiznit, Salè and Tan-Tan.
Economy of Morocco
Morocco has signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and the United States of America.
Demographics of Morocco http://www.moroccousafta.com/index_ang.htm
Culture of Morocco
Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2002 U.S. Department of State website.
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