His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco died of a heart attack on July 23, 1999. The following week, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, President of the Ethiopian Crown Council, visited the Moroccan Embassy in the Washington DC area to pay his respects to the memory of the late monarch, and to send the Ethiopian monarchy’s best wishes to his successor, King Mohammed VI.
In early August, the Enderasse of the Ethiopian Crown Council, Prince Bekere Fikre-Selassie, and Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie released this statement on the passing of King Hassan:
“On this sad occasion, we all recall with admiration His Majesty King Hassan’s unceasing devotion to the cause of peace and unity throughout Africa and the Middle East, and we look forward to a world strengthened by His Majesty’s vision.
The Ethiopian and Moroccan Crowns fought parallel struggles in the 20th Century, overcoming the challenges of colonialism and exile to work for the continued prosperity of their peoples. His Majesty Haile Selassie I, late Emperor of Ethiopia and founder of the modern Crown Council, worked closely with King Hassan in the cause of African peace and unity. On June 14, 1972, both leaders addressed the summit for the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) which King Hassan himself hosted in Rabat. His Majesty Haile Selassie’s words in tribute to His Majesty King Hassan suit us well today:
‘All of us here are well aware of His Majesty King Hassan’s dedication to, and unwavering faith in, the consolidation of unity and his positive contribution to the… peace of our continent. The generous and typically African hospitality extended to all of us is yet another manifestation of the keen interest His Majesty, the Government and people of Morocco have in strengthening our organization… Whenever We think of Morocco, Our thoughts go back to His Majesty’s illustrious father, King Mohammed V, who, through far-sightedness and political sophistication, led this country into independence from the clutches of colonialism and laid the foundation of modern Morocco… Following in the footsteps of his father, His Majesty King Hassan has continued to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of the Moroccan people. May We wish His Majesty all success in his endeavours.’
As Morocco turns now to look towards its future, we are honored to extend similar wishes for success to His Majesty Mohammed VI. At once both a leader and true scholar, His Majesty’s interest in the social welfare of his people, particularly the poor among them, promises a model of leadership which all of Africa can hope to embrace.”