Here follows the full text of the royal speech:
“Praise be to God,
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
The twenty-second anniversary of my enthronement, which we are proudly celebrating today, is more than just a commemoration of my accession to throne.
This celebration illustrates the bonds of the sacred Bei’a, or pledge of allegiance, as well as the solid cohesion that has always existed between the Sultans and Kings of Morocco and the Moroccan people, regardless of the circumstances.
Morocco is a State steeped in history – a united nation with roots deeply anchored in its past.
Our country draws its strength from its national unity and from the unanimous stance of all its components on the nation’s sacred values.
The strength of the Moroccan nation also stems from its institutions, from the energy and skills of its citizens, and from the Moroccan people’s work and endeavors to achieve the country’s development and progress, and to defend its unity and stability.
It is precisely this ever-vibrant human and cultural capital that has enabled our country to rise to challenges and to overcome difficulties and hardships throughout its long history, ancient as well as modern.
I should like, first of all, to reiterate my thanks to the entire staff working in the health sector – in the public, private and military sectors – and to the security forces and public authorities for the dedication and keen spirit of responsibility they have shown in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic.
This has been a difficult situation for all of us, for me and my family, as for all citizens. Indeed, when I see Moroccans suffer, I, too, feel their pain and experience the same feelings.
Although the epidemic has adversely impacted the country’s economic projects and activities and has affected the material and social conditions of many citizens, I have sought to come up with solutions to reduce the effects of the crisis.
As soon as the epidemic started, I took the initiative of setting up a special fund to mitigate the effects of the crisis – an initiative which was spontaneously embraced by the citizens.
I also launched an ambitious plan to boost the economy by providing support to the small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the crisis, and to preserve jobs as well as the purchasing power of households through direct material assistance.
I also created the Mohammed VI Investment Fund to promote productive activities, and also to accompany and finance various investment projects.
We have every right, today, to celebrate Morocco’s achievements in the “battle for vaccines” – which is far from being an easy one – as well as the successful roll-out of the national vaccination campaign and the citizens’ massive engagement in it.
Since I believe medical autonomy to be a key element in the accomplishment of the country’s strategic security, I have launched a pilot project for the manufacturing, in Morocco, of vaccines, medicines and the necessary medical materials.
Still, we must keep in mind that the epidemic is not over yet, and that the crisis is continuing. Everyone should continue to be vigilant and comply with the instructions issued by the public authorities in this regard.
Thanks to a collective national endeavor, there are positive indicators which show that our economy is on its way to a full recovery.
By the grace of the Almighty, the situation has been further improved by the good crop year with which God has blessed us. The agricultural output will promote a sense of contentment and tranquility among the citizens.
This development comes in a promising context, now that the Special Commission for the Development Model has submitted its proposals. The latter will make it possible to embark on a new phase, the aim being to accelerate the country’s economic take-off and shore up the social project we want for our country.
The Commission’s work was a patriotic, constructive and commendable effort. Participating in it were the nation’s driving forces, including political parties, economic and social stakeholders, trade unions, civil society organizations and a number of citizens.
As was the case with the preparation of the development model, I consider its implementation to be a national duty that requires the participation of all stakeholders, especially those that will be in charge of government and public policy in the years to come.
I hope the “National Pact for Development” will serve as a frame of reference that includes development principles and priorities as well as an economic and social contract that paves the way for a new revolution of the King and the people.
As the custodian of the nation’s interests and of those of the citizens, I shall make sure to follow up the actual implementation of the development model through the necessary measures and mechanisms.
In addition to the development initiatives launched at the domestic level, Morocco is keen to keep up its earnest efforts to promote security and stability at the African and the Euro-Mediterranean levels, and especially in the neighboring Maghreb region.
In keeping with that policy, I reiterate my sincere call to our brothers in Algeria for us to work together, without conditions, for the development of bilateral relations based on trust, dialogue and good neighborliness.
I am not satisfied with the current state of our relations, for it does not serve our peoples’ interests, nor is it acceptable to a great many countries.
It is my firm belief that an open border between two neighboring countries and two brotherly peoples is the norm.
The closing of borders is incompatible with a natural right and an intrinsic legal principle, both of which are enshrined in international covenants, including the Marrakech Treaty, which is the founding text of the Arab Maghreb Union. That Treaty stipulates the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital between the States of the Union.
Since 2008, I have been saying this frankly, stressing it many times and on various occasions.
This is because neither the current Algerian president, nor even his predecessor, nor I, are responsible for the decision made to close the border.
However, we are politically and morally responsible for its continuation – we are responsible before God, before history and before our citizens.
There is no sensible justification for the current situation, the more so as the reasons that led to the closing of the border apply no more. This means there is no reasonable justification for the closure.
I do not wish to blame or lecture anyone. In fact, we are brothers, who have been separated by an intruding entity, which should not be allowed to come between us.
As for what some say, namely that opening the borders will only bring evil and problems to Algeria or to Morocco, this is simply not true. No one can believe such claims, especially in this age of communication and modern technology.
The closing of the border does not stop communication between the two peoples; rather, it only contributes to the closure of minds, which are swayed by the false stories spread by some media outlets, namely that Moroccans are afflicted by poverty and that they live on smuggling and drugs.
In fact, anyone can check for himself or herself that these allegations are simply not true. There is an Algerian community living in our country, and Algerians from Europe and also from inside Algeria who visit Morocco, who can vouch for this.
To our brothers in Algeria, I say this: Morocco will never cause you any evil or problems. Nor will my country put you in peril or under threat. That is because what affects you affects us, and what befalls you harms us.
Therefore, I believe that the security and stability of Algeria and the tranquility of its people are inseparable from the security and stability of Morocco, and vice versa: what affects Morocco will also affect Algeria, for the two countries are like one and the same body.
This is because Morocco and Algeria are both suffering from the problems of migration, smuggling, drugs and human trafficking.
It is the gangs which engage in such activities that are our real, common enemy. Should we work together to combat them, we would surely manage to reduce their activities and dry up their sources.
On the other hand, I regret the media and diplomatic tensions currently characterizing relations between Morocco and Algeria; not only are they detrimental to the image of both countries, but they also create a negative impression, especially in international forums.
I therefore call for making the logic of wisdom and of our supreme interests prevail in order to remedy this regrettable situation. This is a situation in which the energies of our two countries are being squandered and which is incompatible with the bonds of affection and fraternity between our peoples.
Morocco and Algeria are more than just two neighboring countries: they are twins, complementing one another.
For this reason, I call upon His Excellency the Algerian President for us to work together, as soon as he sees fit, so as to promote the fraternal relations built by our peoples through years of common struggle.
I should like to take the opportunity of this glorious event to pay tribute to our Royal Armed Forces, the Royal Gendarmerie, the National Security Forces, the Auxiliary Forces and the Emergency Services for their dedication, and for their constant mobilization, under my leadership, to uphold the unity and sovereignty of the nation and preserve its security and stability.
With deep reverence, I also wish to honor the memory of our venerable ancestors for their sacrifices, particularly my revered grandfather and father, Their late Majesties King Mohammed V and King Hassan II – may they rest in peace – as well as the memory of the nation’s valiant martyrs.
God Almighty says: “If God finds any good in your hearts He will give you something better”. True is the Word of God.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.”