Monitor: All the News of the World - International comment on the death of King Hassan of Morocco

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THE ACCESSION to the Moroccan throne of King Mohamed VI following the death of his father, King Hassan, brings to three the number of Arab rulers still in their thirties. King Mohamed will be 36 years old, King Abdullah of Jordan is 37 and the new ruler of Bahrain, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Khalifa is 35. Each of these comparatively young men has assumed power at a critical juncture in the history of the Arabs, both politically and economically. Morocco's new monarch will need the support of the EU, its closest trading partner, to help him lift the burden of the unemployed, to modernise its economy and to ensure the smooth transition that is in the interest of Morocco, the Arabs, and the rest of the world.

Daily Star, Lebanon

THE LATE King Hassan of Morocco was one of the Middle East's "greatest peacemakers". Certainly he took a decidedly pro-Western tack and served as a facilitator between Israel and the Arab world. He was an important force for moderation in a realm noted for its emotional extremism. But there should be no illusions about the extent of the king's moderation. Although, in his foreign relations, he rejected the threats of the rejectionists, within Morocco he ruled for 38 years with an iron, and often brutal, fist.

New York Post, US

WITHIN JUST a few months Israel has lost two of her dearest friends in the region, King Hussein and King Hassan. What will their departure from the Middle Eastern scene mean for us, and for the region as a whole? Both these rulers played a vital role in a period when clandestine contacts were the only means to penetrate the iron ring of negativity with which the Arab consensus had surrounded us. Now they are gone, and their presence will be sorely missed. The peace process, however, has gone beyond the need for clandestine contacts. In the ensuing weeks a precise game-plan will unfold which will eventually bring us peace, and both the young kings can be safely assumed to give it their support. (David Kimche)

Jerusalem Post, Israel