The visit comes nearly a year after the Moroccan FM’s trip to Saudi Arabia, carrying a brotherly message to Saudi monarch.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita flew to Saudi Arabia with the adviser to King Mohammed VI, Fouad Ali El Himma, for a two-day stay in Riyadh.
The two officials carried with them a letter from King Mohammed VI to the Saudi monarch Salman bin Abdulaziz, diplomatic sources told Elaph.
The visit comes in preparation for the rumored visit of the King of Morocco to Saudi Arabia in the first two weeks of March. The diplomatic sources expect a meeting between Bourita, Al Himma, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet released an official statement on the FM’s visit.
Bourita and El Himma’s visit to Saudi Arabia comes after a series of talks between Rabat and Riyadh on strengthening relations in all fields.
Earlier this week, a Saudi delegation, led by the President of the Saudi Consultative Assembly or Shura Council, arrived in Morocco to discuss bilateral relations.
The Moroccan FM received the president of Shura council on Monday in Rabat.
The two officials discussed ways to improve diplomatic relations through official agreements during an upcoming meeting in Riyadh.
The potential visit of the King to Saudi Arabia comes after months of speculation and rumors about alleged friction between the two kingdoms.
Saudi Arabia provoked the North African country several times in the past few years, especially after a Saudi television aired a documentary challenging Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over Western Sahara.
The move was followed with Saudi Arabia opposing Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid.
Saudi officials, including Turki al-Sheik – one of the proxies of MBS – lobbied against Morocco’s bid throughout the contest to secure rights to host the competition.
Morocco’s position on regional issues, such as the crisis in Yemen, also angered the Saudi coalition.
Rumors mounted last year about Morocco’s decision to recall its ambassador from UAE and Saudi Arabia. Morocco denied the rumors, with Bourita saying that the country has its own diplomatic channel to announce such news.
The FM, however, acknowledged that relations between Saudi Arabia and Morocco had experienced a rift, saying Morocco’s relations with Saudi Arabia and all Gulf countries must be based on mutual respect and reciprocity.
From “the point of view of Morocco, relations with Gulf countries,” especially Saudi Arabia and UAE, “have always been deep historical relations,” the FM said.
“It may happen that we do not agree on certain issues. Foreign policy is a matter of sovereignty, and in Morocco, it is also based on principles and constants,” he added.
In April 2019, Bourita flew to Saudi Arabia, carrying a “brotherly” message to the King.
During the visit, Bourita met with the Saudi sovereign and expressed Morocco’s commitment to continue to boost bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia.