Morocco King's support for compulsory military service
Rabat : Nearly two months after Morocco introduced a year-long mandatory military service for those between 19 and 25 years of age, King Mohammed VI reiterated his backing for the decision.
Chairing the opening of the first session of the third legislative year of Parliament, the King, responding to some concerns voiced on the issue in the north African nation of 35 million people, said that no one will be exempt from military service irrespective of social status or level of education, Morocco's MAP news agency reported.
"With regard to performing military service, it must be emphasised that all the Moroccan citizens concerned -- without exception -- are equal, regardless of social background, diploma or education," he said.
The monarch said military service "enhances the sense of belonging to the homeland".
"It also gives access to training which opens up opportunities for the professional and social integration of qualified conscripts who demonstrate a sense of responsibility and commitment."
Representatives of both Parliament houses, the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives, were in attendance.
The King also said that foreign companies keen to invest in the Moroccan health sector must share their expertise with Moroccan youth.
"To stimulate employment, we should consider the possibility of having quality initiatives and global leaders involved in some sectors and professions -- such as the health care sector -- which are not currently accessible to foreigners, provided the said projects contribute to the transfer of know-how and create employment opportunities for young Moroccans with the right qualifications," he said.
The King said increased interest is being shown by many of the world's leading clinics and hospitals to invest in Morocco. He also said that "employment of youth is at the heart" of the country's interests.