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Last updated: 2003-05-21

The Foreign Minister of Morocco has reassured leaders of British Jewry that his government will take every necessary step to protect Morocco’s Jewish community. This follows last weekend’s terrorist attacks in Casablanca against the Jewish community centre and other targets.

Mr. Mohammed Benaissa was meeting community leaders during his official visit to London yesterday. He told the delegation that the Jewish community was a valued part of Moroccan society. The authorities would take every step to prevent anyone from creating divisions in Morocco, where Jews and Muslims have enjoyed harmonious relations for centuries. The government gave its protection to all sections of society, but if there were any special concerns on the part of the Jewish community, these would be carefully considered. He looked forward to maintaining a dialogue with British Jew on future occasions.

The delegation, which was led by Jerry Lewis, Senior Vice President of the Board, thanked the Minister for his reassurances and extended its deepest sympathies to the King, the government and the people of Morocco for the appalling terrorist attacks last weekend.

The Jewish delegation comprised:
Mr Jerry Lewis, Senior Vice President, Board of Deputies
Mrs Flo Kaufmann, Vice President, Board of Deputies
Dayan Toledano, Head of Beth Din, Sephardi community
Lord Janner, Vice President, World Jewish Congress
Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Co-founder, Three Faiths Forum
Dr. David Khalili, President, Maimonides Foundation
Mr Peter Sheldon, President, United Synagogue
Mr Cesare Sacerdoti, President, Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation
Mr Sydney Assor, Chairman, Association of Moroccan Jews in Great Britain