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Report: Morocco plans to train 500 Malian Imams

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Morocco will train 500 religious scholars from Mali over the next two years after an agreement was signed on Thursday between King Mohammad VI and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Bamako, a Moroccan state TV channel reported this week.

The agreement was also signed by endowment and Islamic affairs minister Ahmed Toufik and Malian minister for territorial administration and decentralization Moussa Sinko Coulibaly at the Moroccan embassy in Bamako.

“We are cooperating with the Malian Maliki School of Islamic law and we are in extreme harmony with the Imams and their religious values which are set on moderate Islam,” Moroccan Ambassador to Bamako Hassan al-Nassri was quoted as saying in televised comments.

The ambassador also added that Morocco will train the imams in line with the principles of moderation and tolerance in Islam, adding that the king will personally monitor the implementation of the agreement.

Mali held successful presidential elections this past July after a year-long takeover of the northern part of the country by extremist groups.

"The dream of a peaceful Mali has now come true," said King Mohammad. "Both countries embrace the same values of tolerance and openness to others, and this represents the bedrock of the spiritual bond between our two countries."