Hassan II


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Saddam Hussein (1937—2006) Iraqi President, Prime Minister, and head of the armed forces 1979–2003


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(b. 9 July 1929, d. 23 July 1999).

King of Morocco 1961–99 Born in the royal palace at Rabat, he studied law in Bordeaux and was soon active in the court of his father, Mohammed V. He accompanied him into exile in 1953, and in 1957 became crown prince. He was Commander‐in‐Chief of the armed forces. Thus groomed in political and military affairs, he succeeded his father in 1961. Between 1965 and 1977, he ruled by decree, and overcame several coup attempts (1971, 1972, 1973). He relaxed his authoritarian rule (without ever relinquishing his grip on politics) after occupying the Western Sahara, and thus united the country's nationalist forces behind him. However, the long guerrilla war that followed exhausted his army and his country's economic resources, which he had worked hard to improve. He was able to resist domestic pressures mounting in the 1990s for democratization, mainly through the loyalty of the army. Hassan's continued defiance of the UN was enabled by tacit support from the USA and France, which welcomed his pro‐Western stance. He was the first Arab leader to denounce Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and was the third Arab leader to create diplomatic links with Israel on 1 September 1994. He instituted moderate political reforms a few years before his death, which were continued by his son, Mohammed VI.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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