Washington DC - Did the Moroccan authorities overreacted to France allegations of torture? Did Rabat go public too soon with its grievances regarding Spanish actor Javier Bardem's claim that a French ambassador called Morocco a political mistress? These are valid questions that must be addressed. The timing of this crisis is suspicious, since it coincided with Morocco’s King visit to sub-Saharan Africa. It looks as if the Moroccan officials’ reactions played into the hands of the “enemy.”
Washington DC – Did the Moroccan authorities overreacted to France allegations of torture? Did Rabat go public too soon with its grievances regarding Spanish actor Javier Bardem’s claim that a French ambassador called Morocco a political mistress? These are valid questions that must be addressed. The timing of this crisis is suspicious, since it coincided with Morocco’s King visit to sub-Saharan Africa. It looks as if the Moroccan officials’ reactions played into the hands of the “enemy.”
It is no secret that France has been Morocco’s best friend in Europe. The French- Moroccan relations have been exemplary at all levels. France is Morocco’s first commercial partner and the economic exchanges between the two nations amount to 10 billion dollars a year.
On intelligence and security matters, Moroccan and French agencies have worked intimately on cases of terrorism, illegal immigration and drugs for years. Both Moroccan and French domestic intelligence services (called DST) have a working relationship where both agencies are familiar with each other’s “methods and tactics”. Thus, the French police attempt to question Morocco’s DST chief is a mere judicial maneuver and not a statement of the French government official position.
When asked about the French police undiplomatic move to question a Moroccan official on a business trip to Paris, Lauren Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, reminded Journalist that “the judicial branch in France is independent from the Elysee”. Therefore, Moroccan officials should have been measured in their response, especially during an important Royal visit to several African countries.
Morocco’s decision to suspend judicial cooperation with France is a bad political move. On several occasions, France stood by the Moroccan positions in international organizations and has supported Rabat candidacy for key memberships in global forums pushing Morocco’s national agenda and interests.
France was the first European country to openly support Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for the Sahara. In the crucial “Western Sahara dossier”, Paris’s role in supporting, protecting and advocating for Morocco’s views has been crucial and decisive to the success of Rabat diplomatic efforts.
Moroccan officials should have waited until King Mohamed VI returns to Rabat from his trip to Africa before “raising hell”. French President Francois Hollande who called the Monarch to diffuse the tensions must be wondering what the fuss is all about. After all, it was the Hollande administration that stopped the American government attempt to send human rights monitors to the “Western Sahara”.
Despite his high profile involvement in the Sahara conflict, Spanish actor Javier Bardem remains ignorant of the political integrities of this Algerian-Moroccan quarrel. Mr. Bardem, a good actor but a misguided and simple minded activist, continues to be manipulated by the Algerian propaganda machine in Algiers’s long running campaign to distort the Moroccan positions.
As expected, France’s Foreign Ministry spokesman acknowledges that French ambassador to the United Nations met with Bardem in New York but denied what was attributed to him.
The Moroccans should have accepted this explanation and moved the negotiations to the halls of the U.N. where a vote on the U.N. peacekeepers missions to the Sahara is coming up for a vote in April. In fact, Bardem and his handlers attempt to derail the French-Moroccan alliance may counter fire on their bosses in Algiers. A UN resolution friendly to the Moroccan position will be Paris best “apology.”
Ahmed Chaoui – [email protected] –is a freelance journalist based in Washington DC. Mr. Chaoui is native of Meknes, Morocco. He received a Masters in communications from the University of Maryland. Ahmed worked as a political adviser for several Non-Governmental Organizations in the Washington DC area.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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