Morocco, Egypt FMs hold talks following diplomatic row

Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry arrived in Morocco on Thursday for a 24-hour visit to ease the diplomatic row between Cairo and Rabat. (File Photo: AP)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Moroccan counterpart Salaheddine Mezouar concluded talks in Morocco’s central city of Fes on Friday following a recent wave of diplomatic tensions between the two countries, according to media reports.

"Mezouar expressed his pleasure with receiving Shoukry in Morocco and stressed the need to build a strategic partnership between his country and Egypt," Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said in a statement.

Egyptian-Moroccan relations reached high tensions after two Moroccan televisions called Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi a “coup leader” and former president Mohammed Morsi as Egypt’s “legitimate president” for the first time since Morsi’s ouster in 2013. Shoukry arrived in Morocco on Thursday for a 24-hour visit to ease the diplomatic row between Cairo and Rabat.

"Any attempt to cause rifts between the two countries [Morocco and Egypt] is an act of desperation," the spokesman said, noting the two countries' "shared responsibility for the Arab world and the African continent."

"The Moroccan foreign minister stressed that his country supported the will of the Egyptian people following [the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi on] June 30, and that Morocco would always stand together with Egypt," Abdel-Ati said.

Diplomats from the countries offered different readings for the apparent change in Morocco’s approach toward the Egyptian leadership, with some highlighting the Moroccan-Algerian relations as a prime reason.

“The foreign minister will reassure the Moroccan king that Egypt is not at all planning to side with Algeria against Morocco in any political conflict,” an aide to the Egyptian foreign minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ahram Online on Thursday.

“The message is that Egypt is keen on good relations with all Arab countries and is not willing to intervene in any way that would aggravate existing conflicts,” he added.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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