Outgoing President Donald Trump on Friday awarded the prestigious United States Legion of Merit to the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, for his “positive impact” on the political landscape of the Middle East, citing in particular the normalization of relations with Israel.
“King Mohammed VI has advanced the lasting and solid partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States in all areas,” said the White House in a statement. “His vision and personal courage, especially his decision to reconnect with the State of Israel, had a positive impact on the (political) landscape of the Middle East and North Africa, marking the beginning of a new era of security and prosperity for the United States and Morocco”, the statement also said.
The Legion of Merit is a military medal awarded for an exceptional act of arms or to foreign officials, which can only be awarded by the president, recalls the White House. Morocco signed in December in Rabat an agreement to normalize ties with Israel, sponsored by the United States, with bilateral agreements focusing on direct air links, water management, connections of financial systems and an agreement visa waiver for diplomats. In exchange, Washington recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.