“France and Morocco cooperate effectively in the fight against terrorism,” French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said Monday. The official is in Rabat on a two-day working visit, his first international trip as justice minister, to improve France-Morocco judicial cooperation.
After meeting with Mohamed Abdennabaoui, the Attorney General of the King at the Court of Cassation and president of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Dupond-Moretti called for the continuation of counterterrorism cooperation.
Morocco and France must act “in concert against this scourge and criminality,” he said.
The two countries enjoy a strong partnership in fighting crime, especially the combat against terrorism. The allies are known to regularly exchange intelligence.
In January, French geopolitician Jean-Sylvestre Mongrenier described Morocco as “the only reliable strategic partner of France.”
Dupond-Moretti and Abdennabaoui also discussed the issue of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in France, a “priority for both countries,” according to the French minister.
The French official similarly reviewed the issue with Morocco’s Minister of Justice Mohamed Benabdelkader. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the legal framework relating to unaccompanied minors in France.
The French minister said he hopes to see the new agreement enable French prosecutors and their Moroccan counterparts to work “hand in hand” to protect public order and vulnerable children in France.
According to French officials, there are at least 16,000 unaccompanied minors from Morocco and Algeria living in France. French authorities are unable to accurately determine the nationalities of the children because they usually arrive in the European country without any identification documents.
Dupond-Moretti’s working visit to Rabat also included meetings with Morocco’s Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit and the deputy president of the Superior Council of the Judicial Power (CSPJ), Mustapha Fares.
Speaking with Fares, Dupond-Moretti said he is satisfied with the current strength of France-Morocco judicial cooperation and eager to further improve these ties.
Fares shared the French minister’s views, relaying the CSPJ’s commitment to developing the perspectives of France-Morocco judicial cooperation in a manner that reflects the quality of the historical, political, economic, and social ties between the two countries.
He reviewed the various reform projects Morocco launched in the justice field, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the projects include the digitization of several judicial services, making them easily-accessible for citizens through online platforms.
Moroccan courts also adopted remote hearing sessions through videoconference for cases that do not include felonies or severe misdemeanors.
The French justice minister’s visit serves to advance the CSPJ’s strategic plan to consolidate Morocco’s openness to international judicial experiences, said a statement from the council.