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Moroccan King Mohammed VI waves to the crowd as he stands in a limousine during a ceremony of allegiance, at the king’s palace in Rabat, Morocco, July 31, 2014 (AP photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar).

Morocco Deepens Anti-IS Gulf Ties, but Neglects Returning Jihadi Threat

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

Last week, Morocco announced that it would increase intelligence and military support to the United Arab Emirates, ramping up its involvement in the coalition against the so-called Islamic State (IS). This should come as no surprise, as Morocco has been the target of threats by IS, and is also keen to maintain its position as a reliable Arab partner and funding recipient for the United States and Gulf powers against terrorism. Morocco is technically part of the 60-nation U.S.-led coalition against IS, but is listed with the likes of Tunisia, Portugal, Mexico and others as having an unspecified commitment.

Beyond relations with the U.S., whose imprimatur has surely been placed on the Morocco-UAE agreement given its coordination with Gulf states against IS, the deal seems like a natural step given past economic and military agreements between Morocco and the Gulf. And in addition to financial links, Morocco has equally important ideological ties to the Gulf monarchies. ...

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