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Dr. Mohamed Benaïssa is currently mayor of the Moroccan city of Assila and Secretary General of the Assilah Forum Foundation. He is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco (1999-2007). He previously held the post of Minister of Culture (1985-1992) and was a member of the Moroccan House of Representatives from 1977 to 1992. Mr. Benaïssa also served with the United Nations and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (1965-1976).

He is a co-founder and Vice President of the Council for Arab and International Relations, and is a member of many international and regional organizations, including the Aspen Foreign Affairs Forum and the Aspen Food Security Strategy.