The Hill quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the dispute in the Western Sahara and Morocco’s investment on the socioeconomic affairs of the Moroccan Sahara:

The Moroccan king is well loved, and has always been perceived as a monarch of the people. He enjoys driving himself around Casablanca and Rabat, and bestows jobs and other benefits to average people he meets on street corners. Indeed, the country has a long way to go to meet all the needs of its impoverished citizens, and this kind of random generosity might not solve problems long term. But Moroccans stand by their king and by their country’s territorial integrity. That’s not a sentiment that Western governments should overlook.

Following on the policies of his father King Hassan II, Mohamed VI has made a significant investment over the years in the socioeconomic affairs of the Moroccan Sahara. “As a result of these policies, the human development indicators in the region which, four decades ago, were lower than those in the rest of Morocco, are today much higher than the national average,” wrote J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

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