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Morocco ‘the only country in MENA region with no terrorism in 2014’

A spokesman for the Moroccan government said on Thursday that his country is the only one in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region not to have experienced any terrorism in 2014. Mustafa El-Khalfi noted that Morocco has been characterised by its proactive approach to the issue.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Rabat, El-Khalfi said that the Moroccan government is conscious of the new dimensions of terrorism, which has taken on new forms to enable it to expand and spread. “Morocco has been distinguished from a number of countries with its proactive ability and communication policy that work to integrate and involve the public in the efforts of the fight against terrorism,” he pointed out.

Praising his government’s propagation of a moderate religious policy, he explained that Morocco has adopted a renewed security policy and developed its legal system. This was a reference to the legal review that led to the criminalisation of joining terrorist organisations outside the country.

El-Khalfi spoke about the recent attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia, in which 23 people were killed and 47 others were wounded, and other events across the region which have prompted the Moroccan government to stay on full alert. “The policy that Morocco’s various institutions have adopted in this respect has had positive results,” he insisted.

According to statistics presented by El-Khalfi, the Maghreb region as a whole, including Mali, experienced more than 280 terrorist operations in 2014; Morocco is the only country where no single terrorist operation took place. “Morocco is working within an international cooperation system based on the exchange of information and coordination in order to face this phenomenon,” he said. Terrorism, he added, is no longer just related to the southern Mediterranean countries, but it is a transnational phenomenon that targets security and stability.