The Morocco Option

RABAT – Three years after the Arab Spring revolutions, the democratic world appears more confused than ever about how to respond. US Secretary of State John Kerry has re-launched American mediation efforts in the Middle East at a time when his country’s most reliable partners are estranged: Egypt’s military rulers resent the West’s early support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in his presidential tenure, and Saudi Arabia fears that an Iran that talks to the US may prove to be an even more ambitious regional hegemon.

It was against this background that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI recently convened a high-level meeting of the Al Quds Committee, which he chairs. The Palestinian Authority’s president, senior diplomats of the countries involved in the Palestine-Israel peace process, and the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation all attended the two-day summit. Taking place at a critical moment for this sensitive region, the meeting constituted an effort to contribute to the renewed negotiations and build on Kerry’s efforts to revive the peace process.