Report: Big Morocco donation to Clinton foundation

AP News
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Posted: Apr 09, 2015 4:08 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A phosphate export firm owned by the Moroccan government will give the Clinton Foundation a donation of at least $1 million in advance of a May meeting the charity is to host in Morocco, Politico reported Thursday. The gift adds to the Clinton family charity's reliance on contributions from foreign nations as Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares to enter the 2016 presidential race.

Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian did not confirm the Politico report about the donation from OCP, but said Thursday that international participants in the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Marrakech in early May would work on "specific, measurable plans to address pressing global challenges." The CGI is a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation, which is headed by former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea.

In February, in response to mounting criticism about lucrative donations from foreign sources, the Clinton Foundation said it might reconsider future contributions from foreign governments and companies if Hillary Clinton runs for president. It is not clear whether the planned conference was operating under any ethics restrictions.

OCP, which stands for Office Cherifien des Phosphates, is reportedly the world's leading producer of phosphate rock and one of the top global fertilizer exporters. Based in Casablanca, the company's directors include several top government ministers, including the heads of the nation's foreign affairs and interior ministries.

The firm's CEO is Mostafa Terrab, who also lobbied on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco in 2013 and 2014, according to Justice Department records. Terrab filed papers under the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act showing that he worked for Morocco between November 2013 and May 2014, advising Moroccan government officials and helping them prepare for meetings with U.S. officials about economic development issues relating to Africa.

In the records, Terrab also noted that "as the CEO of OCP, I work to advance the company's interests on a range of commercial and economic issues that could also serve to benefit the Kingdom of Morocco."

Clinton Foundation officials acknowledged that OCP was a sponsor of the Marrakesh meeting and that sponsors' funding would be used for the event's logistics and production. Foundation officials also said that Terrab would speak at the Marrakesh event.

According to Clinton Foundation records, OCP previously donated between $1 million and $5 million to the charity in 2013. Foundation officials said the gift was made before Terrab filed his foreign agent registration form in November 2013.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton did not respond to emailed requests for comment from the Associated Press.