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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Donald Trump bestows rare award on Morocco's King Mohammed VI

Morocco's ambassador to the US accepted the award on the king's behalf

King Mohammed VI of Morocco was awarded the Legion of Merit, degree of Chief Commander, by US President Donald Trump. Getty Images
King Mohammed VI of Morocco was awarded the Legion of Merit, degree of Chief Commander, by US President Donald Trump. Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has bestowed a rarely-awarded decoration on Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Friday, citing the monarch's role in strengthening ties between the two countries and positive contributions to the Middle East and North Africa region.

The White House said Mr Trump awarded King Mohammed the Legion of Merit, Degree of Chief Commander, at a private ceremony in Washington on Friday where it was accepted on the king's behalf by the Moroccan Ambassador to the US, Princess Lalla Joumala.

"Over his more than two decades of leadership, King Mohammed VI has advanced the deep and enduring partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States across all domains," the White House said as it announced the award.

"His vision and personal courage – including his decision to resume ties with the State of Israel – have positively reshaped the landscape of the Middle East and North Africa and ushered in a new era of security and prosperity for both our countries and the world," it said.

The award follows Morocco's decision last month to normalise ties with Israel, becoming the third Arab country to do so last year, after the UAE and Bahrain, under US-brokered deals.

The Legion of Merit is military decoration created to honour Allied leaders in the Second World War.

Mr Trump, who leaves office on Wednesday, also presented the award to the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan last month.

Published: January 16, 2021 04:40 PM

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