Between Paris and Rabat, is the permafrost melting? On one side or the other, the warning signs of the end of a prolonged winter are multiplying, suggesting a period of warming in Franco-Moroccan relations subjected for two years to freezing temperatures.
The choice of Samira Sitail as the kingdom’s ambassador to Paris was approved on October 19 by the King of Morocco. His official assumption of office is long overdue, but his appointment puts a face on a diplomatic representation which has not had since January of this year. Two weeks earlier,Mohammed VI ended up accrediting the French ambassador in Rabat, Christophe Lecourtier, who had presented him with his credentials after his appointment almost a year ago.
Alongside this diplomatic “normalization”, meetings between officials from the two countries have increased, testifying, here too, to a desire for recovery. In October, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, met in Marrakech with his Moroccan counterpart and the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch. As for the director general of the French Development Agency, Rémy Rioux, he was received in Rabat in November by the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita.
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But the thaw promises to be slow and gradual. “We are going cautiously, without triumphalism, and remaining modest”, we explain at the French embassy in Rabat, where we assure that exchanges with senior Moroccan officials have never interrupted and that regular consultations take place on both sides on several subjects. On the Moroccan side, discretion, which was still required in recent months, has disappeared in favor of an assumed display. The secret exchanges with French decision-makers and representatives led to successful meetings which are now the subject of press releases published in the Moroccan press.
If it is proof of a return to normal, this restoration, we insist on the French side, also requires a change of software. “We believed that we could continue with Morocco as we have done for the last thirty years, but this is no longer possible”we admitted to the embassy, regretting a form of” arrogance “ and “errors of assessment”.
Among them is the video of Emmanuel Macron posted on Twitter a few days after the earthquake which struck the Marrakech region in September and caused the death of 3,000 people. The French president declares that he wants to address “directly to Moroccans”. A speech contrary to protocol, according to the Moroccan press, which criticized the head of state for wanting ” climb over “ the king.
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