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Morocco: king cancels participation in Arab summit 

King Mohammed VI of Morocco attends the signing of bilateral agreements at the Agdal Royal Palace on February 13, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. [Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]
King Mohammed VI of Morocco attends the signing of bilateral agreements at the Agdal Royal Palace on February 13, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco [Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has cancelled his participation in the Arab summit held in Algeria, Al Quds Al Arabi has reported. Citing the French magazine Jeune Afrique, the report pointed out that according to Moroccan and then Algerian diplomatic sources, the king was one of the first leaders to confirm their participation in the summit, which was a source of controversy because of the tense relations between Rabat and Algiers.

Jeune Afrique said that Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told the Secretary-General of the Arab League on Sunday evening that Mohammed would not participate in the summit. The magazine revealed that the Moroccan delegation left Algeria on Monday, leaving Bourita to represent the kingdom on his own.

According to Jeune Afrique, the Moroccan monarch pulled out of the summit because, "The Algerian authorities have treated Nasser Bourita and his delegation in a non-diplomatic way, which will not allow the king to have a quiet and peaceful stay." Moreover, Morocco refuses to accept the "continued attacks" against it by the Algerian media. It is also significant that the heads of state of Morocco's allies such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain are not attending the summit.

READ: Morocco King to skip Arab Summit in Algeria

Bourita is still in Algiers, but has not held any talks with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra so far. He pointed out that King Mohammed has ordered the delegation to work constructively despite his absence. The minister emphasised that, "The Arab League is the only communication channel with Algeria."

On Sunday, the Arab League said that it has no "media partners" to cover the summit, after the Algerian government's AL24news broadcast a map of the Arab world on its website which contradicts the map that the Arab League uses. "The map used was not an official map on which the political borders of the Arab countries are shown, including the Kingdom of Morocco," said the organisation.

The Algerian channel apologised on Sunday, "for using a map of the Arab world other than the one approved by the Arab League." It insisted that this was a "technical error by the design department."

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