The recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara is not a radical departure from prior U.S. policy; rather, it is a prudent development of it.
Morocco's tolerant, inclusive interpretation of Islam has long stood in contrast to more extreme strains of the religion found elsewhere in the region.
Improved trade links and an inside track on the Western Sahara issue are among the benefits.
The North African country left the bloc in 1983 due to a row over Western Sahara.
Mohamed Abdelaziz died on Tuesday after more three decades of war and diplomatic struggle for the disputed territory with Morocco.
Ban Ki-moon sparked a row with Morocco by describing the disputed territory as under "occupation."
Morocco and Ban Ki-moon's dispute is the most serious since the 1991 ceasefire in Western Sahara.
Morocco has pulled its personnel from a U.N. mission in the disputed region.
Ban Ki-moon recently referred to Morocco's presence in Western Sahara as "occupation."
Ban Ki-moon has described the conflict as a "forgotten humanitarian tragedy."
Moroccan authorities have blocked the first Ikea store opening in the country.