Norway’s ambassador to Morocco said she was “deeply touched” by the outpouring of solidarity Moroccans have expressed following the murder of Louisa and Maren in Morocco’s Imlil near Toubkal Mountain.
Rabat – In the wake of the murder of two Scandinavian tourists, Norwegian Ambassador to Rabat, Merethe Nergaard, called on everyone to stick together and not “give in to fear” emphasizing that Morocco and Norway will remain united in fighting extremism and terrorism.
In a statement to Morocco’s state-owned agency Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) on Saturday, Negaard said that Morocco and Norway worked together following the heinous murder that took the lives of two innocent women.
The ambassador recalled the two countries’ collaboration in investigating the murder, expressing gratitude on behalf of her country to Morocco’s security services who were “quick” to arrest the suspects.
“We have full confidence in the ability of the Moroccan authorities to complete the investigation, and we highly appreciate their assistance.”
Strongly condemning the murders, Nergaard thanked the Moroccan people’s support for and sympathy with the families of the “young, innocent girls who loved to hike in this beautiful country.”
“The letters, flowers and messages of condolences and sympathy have deeply touched us. They are a demonstration of the rich values, openness, and hospitality of Moroccan people,” Nergaard said.
Nergaard’s words of gratitude followed those of the Danish ambassador to Morocco, Nikolaj Harris, who also thanked Moroccans for their empathy toward the victims’ families and acknowledged the efforts of Moroccan authorities.
“Many people put candles and roses in front of the Danish embassy, and I want to personally express how delighted I am by the various kinds of solidarity toward the Danish people during this tough week,” he noted in a statement on Friday.
Today, crowds of Moroccans gathered in front of the Danish and Norwegian embassies holding banners saying “No to terrorism,” and displaying more solidarity with the victims’ families and friends.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway’s bodies were found with knife wounds 10 kilometers from the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains on Monday.
Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) has since arrested 13 suspects.
Denmark suspected ISIS was behind the murder of the Danish and Norwegian women. A video posted on Twitter on Thursday documented four of the suspects pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Morocco’s public prosecutor at Rabat’s Court of Appeals said that BCIJ is investigating the case as a terror attack.