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It regained its independence in 1956, and has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards, with the fifth largest economy in Africa.Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces.Northwest Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period.Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah, Lixus and Mogador.Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under Almoravid and Almohad rule, when it spanned parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa.The Marinid and Saadi dynasties resisted foreign domination into the 17th century, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation.Emperor Claudius annexed Mauretania directly as a Roman province in 44 AD, under an imperial governor (either aprocurator Augusti, or a legatus Augusti pro praetore).
Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union.
Morocco later became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancient Carthage as part of its empire.
The earliest known independent Moroccan state was the Berber kingdom of Mauretania under king Baga.
After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces.
Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, and the war lasted until a ceasefire in 1991.