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Morocco not commenting on crisis with France

February 22, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita holds joint press conference in Rabat, Morocco on March 29, 2022 [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry as well as officials have not officially commented on the nearly two-year-old crisis with France.

France has suggested the crisis erupted after claims Morocco spied on French President Emmanuel Macron using Israeli software while in return Morocco attributes the critics to France’s opposition to recognising Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara and its inclination to Algerian at the expense of Moroccan interests.

Meanwhile, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita avoided talking about the crisis with France, he acknowledged the existence of a “crisis of differences” with the European Union over human rights two days ago.

However, former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane recently described France as an “enemy” that fears Rabat’s expansion in Africa.  “France and Europe, which were Morocco’s friends, have become excessively hostile to Morocco,” he said earlier this week at a party rally in the city of Fez.

A major sign of the crisis between the two countries is France’s continued “unfair restrictions” on Moroccans wishing to obtain visas to the European country.

France had punished the Arab Maghreb countries including Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia for not cooperating in receiving illegal immigrants by halving the number of visa applications it approves. Restrictions on Tunisians and Algerians were reportedly lifted while the Moroccan visa file continues.

In 2021, France rejected an average of 35 per cent of visa applications submitted by Moroccans including those of officials and former ministers.

READ: France denies the existence of a crisis with Morocco and says partnership is “exceptional”