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Morocco: ambassador insists that kingdom did not spy on Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron (R), flanked by Moroccan ambassador to France Chakib Benmoussa (2ndR) smiles as he attends a dinner organised by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) to break the fast of Ramadan, in Paris, on 20 June 2017. [BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images]
French President Emmanuel Macron (R), flanked by Moroccan ambassador to France Chakib Benmoussa (2ndR) smiles as he attends a dinner organised by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) to break the fast of Ramadan, in Paris, on 20 June 2017. [BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images]

Morocco's ambassador to France, Chakib Benmoussa, has denied that his country has acquired or used the Israeli Pegasus spyware to target French President Emmanuel Macron, RT has reported. Benmoussa condemned claims to the contrary as an attempt "to destabilise the kingdom by anti-Morocco networks in France and elsewhere."

The ambassador insisted that relations between Paris and Rabat are "special and based on historical and very strong human and cultural ties, and common interests." He told Le Journal du Dimanche that "Morocco did not spy on President Emmanuel Macron, nor did it spy on the former Prime Minister or government members."

According to a report in the French newspaper Le Monde, the Moroccan authorities used the Pegasus spyware developed by Israeli company NSO to spy on Macron. It said that one of the phone numbers that Macron has used regularly from 2017 until very recently was on the list of numbers chosen by the Moroccan State Security Service to be monitored through the Pegasus software.

As a result, Macron changed his official and personal numbers, and called for an extraordinary session of the National Defence Council to discuss the spyware file. "A certain number of security protocols have been modified," explained government spokesman Gabriel Attal, "especially around President Macron."

READ: Pegasus spyware and the consequences for privacy

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