Morocco: the head of French diplomacy “personally” invested in reconnecting with the kingdom

The new head of French diplomacy said in an interview published on Saturday that he would “personally” work towards rapprochement between France and Morocco, whose relations have weakened in recent years.

“We have had several contacts since my arrival” in post on January 12 with the Moroccans, Stéphane Séjourné told the daily Ouest France.

“The President of the Republic asked me personally to invest in the Franco-Moroccan relationship and also to write a new chapter in our relationship. I will attach myself to it,” he underlines.

He believes that France has “always been there, even on the most sensitive issues such as Western Sahara where France’s clear and constant support for the Moroccan autonomy plan has been a reality since 2007.”

“We add that it is now time to move forward,” says Stéphane Séjourné. “I will do everything in the coming weeks and months to bring France and Morocco closer together” and “with respect for the Moroccans,” he promises.

The last two years have been punctuated by extremely strong tensions between Morocco and France, a former colonial power where a large Moroccan diaspora lives.

At the origin of the tensions: the policy of rapprochement with Algeria desired by French President Emmanuel Macron, while Algiers broke off its diplomatic relations with Rabat in 2021.

In September, a new controversy arose when France offered its aid to Morocco, hit by an earthquake, aid which Rabat had ignored.

Relations then seemed to be at an impasse before the French ambassador to Morocco made a public mea culpa in November and a Moroccan ambassador to France was appointed after months of vacation, thus initiating a period of thaw.

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