A visit by Emmanuel Macron to Morocco is “not on the agenda,” the official Moroccan press agency MAP wrote on Saturday September 16, citing a Moroccan government source. This anonymous source contradicts the statements of Catherine Colonna, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said on Friday that the French president had been invited by Moroccan King Mohamed VI to make a state visit.

“The King of Morocco renewed his invitation to the President of the Republic not long ago, this summer when they spoke,” declared the head of French diplomacy during an interview with the French news channel LCI . The president is invited, we still have to find dates which have not yet been found. »

The French minister “gave herself the freedom to make a non-concerted announcement concerning an important bilateral deadline”, criticized, on condition of anonymity, the government source interviewed by MAP. According to this source, such a visit “is not planned”.

Relations between Morocco and France, a former colonial power with a large Moroccan diaspora, have been strained since Mr. Macron has sought to get closer to Algeria. This neighbor of Morocco broke off diplomatic relations with Rabat in 2021, accused of “hostile acts”.

Diplomatic tensions

Morocco also criticizes France for not aligning with the United States and Israel who have recognized the “Moroccanness” of Western Sahara, almost 80% controlled by Morocco.

Diplomatic tensions between the two countries emerged again this week after the earthquake which struck the Marrakech region, in the center of the kingdom, killing nearly 3,000 people. Rabat did not accept the aid proposed by Paris, leading to “controversies which have no reason to exist,” said Mr. Macron.

“Relations between France and Morocco are old, they are marked by a deep friendship I think between the two peoples,” said Ms. Colonna on Friday.

She said she hoped that a visit from the president could “allow our two countries to live up to their aspirations and, I believe, the interests that are theirs on both sides.”