Moroccos' King Mohammed VI Engaged


RABAT, Morocco (AP) - Morocco's King Mohammed VI is engaged and will marry one of his subjects early next year, the royal house said in a statement released Friday.

Mohammed, 38, is to marry Salma Bennani, a native of Fez, the statement said. It said the decision was made at the royal palace on Friday.

``The ministry of the royal house of protocol and chancellery announces to the Moroccan people the good news of the engagement of the Commander of Believers, his majesty the King Mohammed VI, may God keep him, to Miss Salma Bennani,'' the statement said.

It mentioned no previous marriage. When Mohammad inherited the throne in 1999, government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said he was secretly married hours after his father's death to fulfill dynastic tradition requiring a head of state be wed.

They did not identify the bride, and Friday's statement marked the first time that a Moroccan ruler has officially expressed plans to marry or announced the identity of his fiancee.

Bennani has worked for Omnium Nord-Africain, one of the North African kingdom's largest companies. The statement did not reveal her age or any other details about her.