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Morocco, Africa

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Morocco (Arabic: المغرب‎ (al-Maġrib) ; Berber: ⴰⵎⵕⵕⵓⴽ or ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱ
(Ameṛṛuk or Lmaġrib)), officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the most westerly of the North African countries. It is one of three countries (Spain, France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and it also has a rugged mountain interior. The Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maġribiyah (Arabic: المملكة المغربية‎), which translates to "The Western Kingdom", and Al-Maghrib (Arabic: المغرب‎), or Maghreb, meaning "The West", are commonly used as alternate names. Morocco has a population of over 35 million and an area of 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi). The political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakech, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber (indigenous African) and also other African and European influences. Morocco claims the non-self governing territory of the Western Sahara as the "Southern Provinces". Morocco annexed the territory in 1975 and a guerrilla war with indigenous forces was brought to a cease-fire in 1991. U.N. efforts have failed to break the political deadlock. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, including the power to dissolve the parliament. Executive power is exercised by the government but the king's decisions usually override those of the government if there is a contradiction. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. The main religion is Islam. The official languages are Berber and Literary Arabic. Moroccan Arabic, referred to as Darijah, and French are also spoken.
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