King Mohammed VI’s 2017 visit to Cuba and Morocco’s diplomacy seem to be working well.
On August 28, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita received Cuba’s Ambassador to Morocco Elio Eduardo Rodríguez Perdomo in Rabat .
The ambassador presented his credentials as Cuba’s extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Rabat, residing in Paris, France.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation released a statement yesterday, expressing satisfaction with the development.
The statement said that the meeting between Bourita and Perdomo reflects “a new dynamic” in the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“The meeting also reflects the common will to develop bilateral cooperation and strengthen relations of friendship and mutual respect,” according to the statement.
Re-establishment of diplomatic relations
After the monarch’s visit to Cuba in April 2017, which the ministry described as “historic,” both countries signed a joint statement on the re-establishment of diplomatic ties.
The statement was signed in New York and announced the decision to restore diplomatic ties at the level of ambassadors.
Morocco cut ties with Cuba in 1980 as a result of Cuba’s recognition of the Polisario Front and the island’s support of Polisario’s claims for independence in Western Sahara.
Cuba also offered trainings for Polisario youth in different fields, including military training, angering Morocco, which believes that the only solution to end the Western Sahara conflict is through Morocco’s Autonomy Plan introduced to the UN in 2007.
Cuba backed Polisario by providing military aid to Algeria.
While Cuba still supports Polisario, Moroccan analysts believe that the reestablishment of ties between Rabat and Havana could be a major step towards a more neutral stance from Cuba on the conflict.
The monarch’s private visit to Cuba changed the situation, causing confusion among both Algeria and Polisario officials.
It is still unknown what happened during the King’s visit, but many things have changed since then.
In June, Morocco’s Ambassador to Cuba Boughaleb El Attar presented his credentials to Cuba’s president, Miguel Diaz-Canel.
During his meeting with the Moroccan ambassador, Diaz-Canel conveyed “warm greetings” for the King, welcoming the “historic visit” of the monarch to Cuba, which marked the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Diaz-Canel said that after the diplomatic restoration, both countries aim to begin “a new phase of cooperation in various fields for the benefit of both countries and two peoples,” according to the Moroccan ambassador.