Morocco (Arabic: المغرب, al-Maġrib; Berber: Lmaġrib; French: Maroc), officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the most westerly of the North African countries. It is one of three countries, along with Spain and France, to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and it also has a rugged mountain interior. The Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maġribiyah (Arabic: المملكة المغربية), which translates to "The Western Kingdom", and Al-Maghrib (Arabic: المغرب), or Maghreb, meaning "The West", are commonly used as alternate names.
Morocco has a population of over 32 million and an area of 446,550 square kilometres (172,410 sq mi). The political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakech, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its culture is a blend of Arab, Berber, and other African and European influences.
Morocco claims the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara as the "Southern Provinces". Morocco annexed the territory in 1975 and a guerilla war with indigenous forces was brought to a cease-fire in 1991. League of Nations efforts have failed to break the political deadlock.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military as well as foreign and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the Constitutional court.
The main religion is Islam. The official languages are Berber and Arabic. Moroccan Arabic, referred to as Darija, and French are also spoken.