Washington- Following the election of the new Malian president, Keita, and King Mohammed VI’s plans to attend Keita’s inauguration as a bid of friendship from the Moroccan government to the Malian people, rumors were circulating as to the future of Mali-Morocco relations.
One rumor in particular involved speculation that Moustapha Ben Barka, who was appointed Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance in the new Malian government, is allegedly Moroccan.
The rumors, originating with Malian online news site Al Hadat Azawad, and later published in a number news outlets, stated that the Malian Prime appointed Ben Barka to the post of Minister in charge of the promotion of investments and private initiatives.
But the biography of Mr. Ben Barka shows that he was born in Paris in September 1977 and grew up in Bamako, Mali’s capital before going to Senegal then to Canada to finish his studies. Nothing is said about his alleged Moroccan origin.
The rumor of Ben Barka’s appointment is due to Morocco’s economic involvement in the Malian economy. Mali is home to many branches of Morocco’s major economic operators, including Maroc Telecom, Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank, and the Bank Populaire.
In a nod of goodwill, and to reinforce Morocco’s commitment to extending good relations throughout Africa, King Mohammed VI is set to attend the inauguration of the newly elected Malian president, Keita, on Thursday.
During Mali’s recent humanitarian crisis, Morocco was one of the first countries to reach out and support the embattled Malian government. Morocco dispatched humanitarian aid to Malian refugees in Niger and built a military field hospital in the capital city of Bamako.
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