Rabat – King Mohammed VI paid on Saturday a visit to King Salman of Saudi Arabia in his residency in Tangier.
The monarch was accompanied by his son, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, as well as high state officials, including his advisor Fouad Ali El Himma, the Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit, the head of national gendarmerie, Army Corps General Housni Benslimane, the head of national security and domestic intelligence Abdellatif Hammouchi.
According to the Moroccan state press agency MAP, the two monarchs discussed bilateral relations during their meeting.
King Salman has been in Tangier since July 24. The Saudi monarch will stay for a month in the northern Moroccan city.
This is the third consecutive time the Saudi monarch spends his summer holidays in Tangier. This year’s visit came in a special context amid the divergence between Moroccan and Saudi Arabia regarding relations with Qatar.
While Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in June, Morocco, despite being an ally of the three Gulf countries, decided to remain neutral.
Rabat has also good relations with Doha. In addition to its neutrality, the Kingdom sought bridging the gap between the four Gulf countries by offering its mediation to help solve the crisis.
Prior to King Salman’s visit to Tangier, rumors surfaced about Riyadh’s anger at Rabat for not siding with the Arab capitals in their boycott of Doha.
The rumors were strengthened when the Saudi-owned Al Hadath TV channel’s broadcasting of a TV report about Western Sahara which was critical of Morocco.
Some analysts said that if King Salman had not come to Tangier this summer, this would have meant that the divergence between Rabat and Riyadh is deep.