On the eleventh anniversary of HM King Mohammed VI taking the throne, the king received a congratulatory messages from around the world.
"Morocco has for centuries been a valued partner, friend and ally to the United States of America. I look forward to further strengthening the relationship between our two nations, as we continue to work together on our shared priorities and areas of common interest." - President Barack Hussein Obama
In this message, President Obama expressed to the Sovereign his congratulations and "warmest wishes" on this occasion.
In his message, French President Sarkozy lauded Morocco's economic and political achievements during the last year.
"In view of trade and financial globalisation, Your Kingdom asserted itself as a responsible and committed actor by devising an energy strategy, that is eco-friendly and ensures energy supply, its effective participation in the Africa-France Summit and its commitment to reforming the United Nations," President Sarkozy.
The French President also commended the relations between the two countries, adding that France remains the Kingdom's "closest ally" in achieving HM the King's vision for Morocco as well as the Euro-Mediterranean region.
HM King Mohammed VI also received a congratulatory messages from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Mauritania, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan. Spain's King Juan Carlos also sent a message.
In this message, King Juan Carlos expressed, on his behalf, that of his government and the Spanish people, his best wishes of happiness for HM the King and the Royal Family and of peace and prosperity for the brotherly Moroccan people.
For his part, King Mohammed VI granted pardons or reduced sentences to nearly 1,000 people to mark his 11 years on the throne. Of the 980 prisoners who were granted clemency, five would be released immediately and the others would have their sentences or fines reduced, the Justice Ministry said.
The sovereign on Friday celebrated the 11th anniversary of his succession from his father Hassan II in the northern city of Tangier.
The king regularly pardons prisoners to mark national or religious festivals.
This year's clemency is relatively modest compared with last year, when almost 25,000 people received pardons ahead of the 10th anniversary celebrations.
A Strange postscript!
It seems that national pride in King Mohammed VI's Throne Day has spread to the far side of the earth. The View from Fez are grateful to the Canberra community blog The RiotAct for pointing this out to us. One of its readers is a regular reader of ours - so thanks!
Mysterious Moroccan missive in today’s Canberra TimesThe response from Canberrans was worth noting:
By nanzan ⋅ July 30, 2010 ⋅
Has anyone else noticed the very strange advertisement from a Moroccan journalist at the bottom of page 6 in today’s Canberra Times?
It seems to be a congratulations notice addressed to the Moroccan ambassador to Australia, on the occasion of the anniversary of the King of Morocco’s enthronement, from a Moroccan journalist, and it ends “…heartfelt congratulations for this glorious and happy Thorne day.”
Is this ad a code for something else? Does it appear in other newspapers today? Will there be others placed by other Moroccan journalists? And what’s a Thorne day?
Very strange indeed!
NOTE: Canberra is Australia's capital and is nestled in the Australian Capital Territory, rather than one of the states.