French-Moroccan diplomatic ties in turmoil, as of Friday Morocco no longer has an ambassador to France, as no successor was appointed to replace Mohamed Benchaaboun whose departure was announced last month by the North African nation.
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The chairman of the Morocco-EU joint parliamentary committee Lahcen Haddad has also accused “the French deep state” of being at the origin of the resolution of the Euro-deputies. This text “does not commit France in any way”, replied Christophe Lecourtier, the French ambassador to Morocco.Paris had also refuted the existence of any crisis with Rabat even if the state visit of President Emmanuel Macron planned – without a date – in the 1st quarter seems to be moving away, especially since the Cherifian kingdom no longer has an ambassador in Paris and that no replacement has yet been appointed.
Officially, the decision to terminate Mr. Benchaâboun’s functions is a normal administrative procedure that follows his appointment by King Mohammed VI on October 18 as the head of a sovereign investment fund whose mission is to boost the economy.
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Morocco has not stated why it took this step but many suspect it was in backlash to a European Parliament resolution voted on the same day, calling on the Moroccan authorities to respect press freedoms. Some in Morocco have accused France of having orchestrated an anti-Moroccan campaign at the European Union. Mr Benchaaboun is a respected diplomat who commentators say had a particularly tough job given the poor state of relations between the two nations.
Source: BBC Africa