A source close to the Moroccan government said that the country has no plans to host Emmanuel Macron, reports the AFP, September 17.
This is despite France’s Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, claiming that a visit by the French President to Morocco had been on the agenda as he was invited by King Mohammed VI.
Morocco denies that an invite was ever sent to Mr. Macron and the Moroccan government source noted that the French Foreign Minister had taken “this unilateral initiative and allowed herself to make an uncoordinated announcement concerning an important bilateral event.”
Bilateral relations between France and the North African country have recently taken a nosedive. Michele Tabarot, a member of the French Parliament (Assemblee Nationale) for the centre-right Les Republicains Party, accused Macron of being at fault for France’s strained relationship with Morocco last month.
Morocco refused to accept aid from the French whilst responding favourably to the United Kingdom, Spain, and Qatar amongst other countries.
Macron’s visit to the former French colony was allegedly scheduled in an attempt to rebuild ties following multiple disputes between the two countries.
The unsatisfactory ties amongst the respective countries started to grow two years ago when France decided to cut the number of visas granted to Moroccans as well as France seemingly cozying up to Algeria in the controversial issue of the disputed territory of the Western Sahara region.
Earlier this year, Macron and some of his party (Renaissance) members bashed Morocco for its dismal record on press freedom amongst other human rights issues. This prompted many Moroccans to accuse the French President of being “anti-Moroccan”.
Morocco is ranked 144 out of 180 countries in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index,a table recorded by worldwide press freedom NGO, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).