Rabat - Morocco's ambassador to France denied on Wednesday that Morocco has requested immunity for its officials on French soil.
Rabat – Morocco’s ambassador to France denied on Wednesday that Morocco has requested immunity for its officials on French soil.
Chakib Benmoussa issued a statement in which he categorically denies that Morocco has sought immunity from prosecution in France for its officials as a condition of resuming judicial and security cooperation agreements with Paris.
“Morocco has never requested immunity for its officials,” Morocco’s ambassador to France said in a statement picked up by French daily newspaper Le Figaro.
“Suggesting otherwise is a lie and an irresponsible act. Those who distill that kind of insanities want in fact to pollute the announced visit of Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs to France.
“They seek to divert the current negotiation to become between a Morocco that seeks to protect guilty officials and a France that is committed to the implementation of law and the independence of justice,” he added.
Benmoussa did not name those who seek to divert the current negotiation between the two countries.
Earlier this week, a Moroccan source was quoted by Reuters as saying that “Moroccan officials should have immunity on French soil,” adding that “we can always work out our differences through the diplomatic process.”
The Moroccan Foreign Minister was expected to visit France this week in what appeared to be an attempt by Moroccan and French officials to ease a year-long tension between Rabat and Paris.
However, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday the postponement of the visit of Morocco’s chief diplomat Salaheddine Mezouar to France.
“We are working to set with the Moroccan authorities a new date for the visit,” said Quai d’Orsay Spokesperson Romain Nadal, adding that Salaheddine Mezouar is “welcomed in France.”
Morocco and France go through an unprecedented diplomatic crisis since Morocco’s decision to suspend cooperation agreements with France.
The Moroccan anger began when half a dozen agents of the French judicial police went to the residence of the Ambassador of Morocco driven by three complaints raised against Abdellatif Hammouchi, head of the Moroccan secret services (DGST), accusing him of torture.
The judicial move had been prompted by lawsuits filed against the Moroccan official in France by Moroccan activists.