Casablanca Wikileak

Classified By: Principal Officer Douglas Greene for reasons 1.4 (B)
AND (D)
1. (SBU) Summary: In Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and economic
capital, prosperity is increasingly on display, raising the question
of where it comes from. Family money, the banking and real estate
sectors, and a strong-performing stock market account for some
wealth. Remittances from Moroccans living abroad, tourism, and
foreign investment, especially from Gulf countries, comprise the
major external sources of money. Illicit sources of income including
drug trafficking, money laundering and endemic corruption play a role
in the growing economy as well. Increased consumption has been a
boon to the economy, but Casablanca's wealth must be shared more
broadly to benefit all segments of society. End Summary.
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INTERNAL SOURCES OF WEALTH
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2. (SBU) The easily-observable phenomenon of wealth in Casablanca
begs the question of where the money comes from. Many Casablancans
cite family money as one key contributor to the city's affluence.
According to Samir Benmakhlouf, president of Century 21 Morocco, the
textile industry, based in Fez, traditionally drove the Moroccan
economy. In the 1970s and 80s, textile producers relocated to
Casablanca for retail opportunities, creating economic momentum and
bringing money to the city. An article in the Middle East Report on
Morocco's bourgeoisie supports this historical view, though dates the
shift to the end of World War II: "The economic center of gravity
shifted to the coastal cities, especially Casablanca. Enterprising
businessmen left Fez for Casablanca, where they continued to be known
as Fassis." Even today, natives of Fez retain their reputation as
members of a business-savvy elite. One of Morocco's richest men,
Othman Benjelloun, hails from Fez and is Chairman and CEO of BMCE,
Morocco's third largest bank. According to BMCE employees, a 'Fez
mafia' dominates the bank's culture. Benjelloun and others like him
belong to a long-standing, moneyed elite who contribute to
Casablanca's prosperity.
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Riyadh wikileaks

C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 000118 
SIPDIS 
LONDON PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY 
NEA FOR ARP 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2020 
TAGS: PREL MNUC PTER PGOV KGHG SENV ETRD SA IR
SUBJECT: SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESSING CHINA TO STOP 
IRANIAN PROLIFERATION, CONCERNED ABOUT TSA REGULATIONS 
Classified By: Ambassador James B. Smith, reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
1. (C) Summary: Saudi Foreign Ministry officials told 
visiting NEA A/S Feltman that they are convinced Iran intends 
to develop a nuclear weapon, and that the Saudi Foreign 
Minister pressed his counterpart hard for greater Chinese 
engagement on this threat during the Chinese FM's visit 
earlier in January.  While no explicit deal was discussed, 
Saudi Arabia made it clear it was willing to address Chinese 
concerns on energy security and trade in exchange for 
effective Chinese support to prevent Iranian proliferation. 
Saudi Arabia is also concerned about Iran's unhelpful role in 
Yemen.  While generally very pleased with the state of 
bilateral relations, Saudi officials strenuously - and under 
instruction - complained about the continued negative effect 
of the recent Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) 
regulations that call for extra security screening for Saudi 
Arabia.  The Saudi Foreign Minister will raise these concerns 
with the Secretary in London on January 27.  They noted that 
the Saudi public is increasingly upset by this, and does not 
understand why they were put in the same group with Cuba, 
which has prompted some Saudis to question how special their 
relationship with the United States really is.  A/S Feltman 
urged Saudi Arabia to associate itself with the Copenhagen 
Accord by January 31.  The MFA reported that Saudi Arabia 
donated $50 million for Haitian relief efforts on January 25. 
End Summary. 
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Ankara2 Wikileaks

S E C R E T ANKARA 000126 
SIPDIS 
FOR BACKGROUND 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2020 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MASS MARR TU AF PK IR IZ IS AM
SUBJECT: SECRETARY GATES' TURKEY BILATERAL VISIT: 
SCENESETTER 
Classified By: Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, Reasons 1.4 (a,b,d) 
1. (S) PM Erdogan welcomed President Obama's reiteration of 
support to the fight against the PKK during the December 7 
meeting in the Oval Office, but the Secretary should expect 
questions about how we will operationalize that commitment as 
plans to withdraw from Iraq move forward.  A key issue will 
be how to reduce the gap between the time when the U.S. is no 
longer able to provide ISR support and when we will be able 
to help Turkey acquire its own capability.  On missile 
defense, we will look for the Secretary's help in advancing 
our work with Turkey to persuade the Turks to allow a key 
radar system to be based here.  The Turks are struggling to 
define what they will need in terms of NATO political cover 
to lessen the high cost - both in terms of domestic politics 
and in relations with Iran - that Erdogan's government 
believes it will have to pay should they agree. 
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Ankara Wikileaks

NTRODUCTION/COMMENT
--------------------

¶1. (C) There is much talk in chanceries and in the international media these days about Turkey's new, highly activist foreign policy, which unquestionably represents a transition not only from prior governments, but also from the AKP regime before the Gaza/Davos events, and before the ascent of Ahmet Davutoglu as Foreign Minister in April. Some commentaries are upbeat, but others, including many experts and editorial writers in the US, have expressed concern. The ruling AKP foreign policy is driven by both a desire to be
more independently activist, and by a more Islamic orientation. Frankly, rational national interest,
particularly trade opportunities and stability considerations, also drives Turkey's new slant. Major
challenges with us in the coming months include the direction of Turkish-Israeli relations, the fate of the Protocols with Armenia, and the Turkish posture vis--vis Iran. Lees verder...