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Cablegate: Prime Minister Touts Progress in Mcc Scorecard

VZCZCXRO8681
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHRB #1167 3521612
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171612Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9451
INFO RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4423
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS RABAT 001167

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EEB/IFD/ODF AND NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON KMCA MO
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER TOUTS PROGRESS IN MCC SCORECARD
AREAS

REF: A. RABAT 1063
B. STATE 111916

1. (SBU) Summary: As previewed during the delivery of the
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard for Morocco
for 2009 (Ref A), Secretary General to the Prime Minister
Mohamed Hajoui provided to the Ambassador a copy of Prime
Minister Abbas El Fassi's December 12 letter to Ambassador
John Danilovich, MCC Chief Executive Officer, responding to
the scorecard. The letter notes areas of development in
which the Government of Morocco (GOM) believes the scorecard
does not adequately credit progress, and highlights Morocco's
efforts at reform and development. The MCC country office
has sent the original letter to Ambassador Danilovich;
Embassy will forward a copy of the letter by pouch to
NEA/MAG. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The Prime Minister's letter to Ambassador
Danilovich welcomes the MCC's assistance with Morocco's
development and calls attention to Morocco's progress in
areas despite the corresponding "negatively affected"
indicators. The Prime Minister advanced examples of
Morocco's commitment to political inclusion and respect of
human rights, including the recent adoption of laws on
political parties and nationality (allowing women to transmit
citizenship), as well as successful 2007 national and
recently announced 2009 communal elections, in which women
will have a reserved share of seats. The PM also noted the
liberalization of the broadcast sector and prospective
adoption of a new press code, as well as GOM initiatives
meant to preserve Morocco's diverse cultural heritage as
indications of political reform and openness.

3. (SBU) In the field of economic development, the Prime
Minister pointed to Morocco's plans for modernizing industry,
tourism, agriculture, artisanal production, and business, and
indicated that Morocco's multiple free trade agreements and
growth in foreign direct investment demonstrate the Kingdom's
progress. He also highlighted the GOM's budget surplus for
2007, healthy tax collections, and ongoing projects to reduce
and reform corporate, income, and value-added taxes. In the
areas with the lowest rankings, Health Expenditures and
Girls' Education, the Prime Minister noted progress in public
vaccination campaigns and providing rural health care, and
stressed that current GOM efforts in educational reform are
targeted at rural girls.

4. (U) The Prime Minister's letter included a 32-page table
of observations related to the scorecard indicators prepared
by the Ministry of Economy and Finances, listing Morocco's
efforts in each area and its future plans. (Note: Although
the Prime Minister's letter and the Ref A conversation refer
to the FY2009 scorecard, the table of observations lists
FY2008 and FY2007 rankings. End Note.) Embassy will forward
the letter and attachment (in French) to the desk by pouch.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
*****************************************

Riley

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