The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, received on Monday at the Royal Palace in Rabat several foreign diplomats who presented their credentials to the monarch as plenipotentiary and extraordinary ambassadors of their countries to the Kingdom.
This audience was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Resident Abroad, Nasser Bourita, as well as the presence of the king's chamberlain, Sidi Mohammed El Alaoui.
Un grand honneur d’avoir été reçu par Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI pour lui remettre mes lettres de créance comme Ambassadeur de Sa Majesté la Reine du Danemark auprès du Royaume du Maroc. 🇲🇦🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/ayIbOd92A8— Jesper Kammersgaard (@DKambMorocco) October 2, 2023
According to a list provided by the Royal Cabinet to which several Moroccan media have had access, these are the ambassadors who have presented their letters to the Moroccan King:
- Mr Jesper Kammersgaard, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark,
- Sheikh Abdullah Bin Thamer Mohammed Thani Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar,
- Mr Mohammed Iliassa Yahaya, Ambassador of the Union of the Comoros,
- Mr. José Renato Salazar Acosta, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia,
- Mr. Mohammed Douhour Hersi, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti,
- Mr Hideaki Kuramitsu, Ambassador of the Empire of Japan,
- Mr. Esayas Gotta Seifu, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
- Mr. Robert Dölger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany,
- Mr. Victor Hugo Ramon Paniagua Fretes, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay,
- Mr. Salaad Ali Ibrahim, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Somalia,
- Ms. Mouda Omar Hadj Hadj Attoum Al Badaoui, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan,
- Mr. Vladimir Baybakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation,
- Mr. Tomas Antonio Guardia Williamson, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama,
- Mr. Namory Traore, Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea.
Among the diplomats who have presented their credentials to Mohammed VI, the French Ambassador, Christophe Lecourtier, is absent. This notable absence coincides with a period of diplomatic crisis between Morocco and France.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita received Lecourtier in Rabat on 30 December 2022, who presented copies of his credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Morocco.
Already strained relations between Rabat and Paris have been particularly strained following the recent earthquake that hit the Kingdom early last month. In the aftermath of the quake, several French media outlets questioned the authorities' measures and strategy for dealing with the catastrophe. The controversy continued after Rabat's failure to request aid from France in the aftermath of the earthquake.
استبعاد السفير الفرنسي من الاستقبال الملكي— Leɛyun 🇲🇦 ۞ (@5_ersito) October 2, 2023
الملك #محمد_السادس يستثني السفير الفرنس، المعين منذ عام، من مراسيم استقبال عدد من السفراء الأجانب بالرباط لتقديم أوراق اعتمادهم.
تجدر الاشارة الى أن منصب سفير المغرب بفرنسا لازال شاغرا منذ التحاق السيد "محمد بنشعبون" بالمغرب شهر يناير. pic.twitter.com/BuYfQ4XR6b
On the other hand, a fortnight ago, an official Moroccan government source told the official news agency MAP that President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the Kingdom "is not on the agenda and is not planned", thus denying recent statements by the head of French diplomacy, Catherine Colonna, who announced a visit by the French president to Morocco at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.
Tensions between the two countries began with the Pegasus affair, although they have increased following the rapprochement between France and Algeria, as well as Paris' rejection of Moroccan demands regarding Western Sahara.
⭕Su Majestad el Rey Mohammed VI ha recibido, hoy en el Palacio Real de Rabat, a varios embajadores extranjeros, que vinieron a presentar al Soberano sus credenciales como embajadores plenipotenciarios y extraordinarios de sus países en el Reino.https://t.co/81Q27abl5A pic.twitter.com/X1WA6p3AdP— Diplomacia_marroquí 🇲🇦 (@DiplomaciaM) October 2, 2023
On the other hand, the Kingdom's embassy in Paris has been without an ambassador since King Mohammed VI withdrew Mohammed Benchaâboun from Paris on 17 January 2023, the same day that the European Parliament voted on a hostile resolution against the Kingdom proposed and supported by the Renew group, linked to Macron's party. Benchaâboun is now director general of the Mohammed VI Investment Fund.
In addition to Lecourtier, the US ambassador also failed to attend the event. Like the French diplomat, Puneet Talwar presented copies of his credentials to the head of Moroccan diplomacy on 21 November 2022.
According to Médias24, a second group of ambassadors will be received shortly. The French ambassador will take part in this new audience, according to the Moroccan media. Médias24 also recalls that it is traditional to receive ambassadors in the order of their arrival in Morocco.