Maghreb

Morocco-US rapprochement, diplomatic victories embarrass France on Moroccan Sahara issue 


The French magazine “Jeune Afrique”, which specializes in African affairs, said that the Moroccan-French relations, which have been characterized by discrimination for many decades, seem to be “over,” in light of the silent “crisis” between the two countries, despite the fact that talk about a “crisis” is still considered to be the “taboo” between the two parties, according to the magazine.

According to the same source, through a report published on Tuesday entitled “Morocco – France: the end of privileged relations,” many indicators point to the existence of disagreements between Rabat and Paris, especially in the absence of any contact between the leaderships of the two countries, King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron.

In this context, “Jeune Afrique” added that despite the presence of King Mohammed VI for long periods in the French capital in recent months alongside his sick mother, no contact or bilateral meeting took place between him and Emmanuel Macron until the present time, according to the sources of the magazine.

The French president did not send a congratulatory telegram to the Moroccan king on the occasion of his recovery from the coronavirus, which he had contracted in the past months, unlike King Mohammed VI who sent such a telegram to Macron when he recovered from the coronavirus in late 2020.

According to the French magazine, these indications show that there is a “failed relationship” between the Moroccan monarch and the French president, according to the description of a “senior French diplomat,” which reflects on bilateral relations between the two countries, or is the result of deeper disagreements between Paris and Rabat on a number of issues, most notably the issue of the Moroccan Sahara.

In this context, Morocco has already indirectly asked allied countries to express their positions on the Sahara issue openly, and here France is present as the most prominent of these countries, in light of the historical relations and the complex economic ties between Rabat and Paris, which makes it the most interested in this discourse.

Despite France’s stated preference for Morocco on the Sahara issue and the autonomy initiative, it has not officially declared its explicit support for Rabat on the Sahara issue to put an end to the duplication of positions that Paris seems to have been exercising recently, one of the main reasons for the bilateral disagreement.

What adds further pressure on France to declare its position on the Sahara issue are the changes that have taken place in the last two years over the Sahara dispute, where the United States of America announced its unequivocal support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and the autonomy initiative, the same last step taken by Spain and accepted by Germany, while France, the Kingdom’s historically largest partner, remains in an unclear position.

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