Tahar Benjelloun challenges Emmanuel Macron in a column

French President Emmanuel Macron “should learn Moroccan, not the language, but its traditional culture, its functioning which has nothing to do with the system of other monarchies”, estimated the writer, Tahar Benjelloun.

In a column in the French magazine “Le Point”, the author of “l’Enfant de sable”, indicates that Emmanuel Macron knows what he must do to fix the situation between Morocco and France.

Noting the deterioration of the privileged relations between Morocco and France, Benjelloun maintains: “When things are no longer going well, we try to act to heal the relationship or at least look reality in the face and do what is necessary so that the things are back to normal.”

After recalling the importance of the links between Paris and Rabat, but also the particularity and depth of the identity of Morocco, “a country that has never been colonized”, which resisted the Ottomans and was under French protectorate , Tahar Benjelloun, notes that between the Rabat Palace and the Élysée, “communication has always taken place through two personalities apart from the ambassadors”, namely the Sovereign and the President.

François Mitterrand, advances the columnist, maintained relations “even friendly with Hassan II”, adding that the two heads of state appreciated and esteemed each other. “It was the same with Jacques Chirac, an old friend of the royal family and the Moroccan people,” he adds.

Speaking of the other French presidents who followed, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, “they too understood the importance of Morocco and maintained excellent relations with the king”, highlights the writer.

He draws a parallel between Nicolas Sarkozy and Emmanuel Macron by telling an anecdote that seems very similar to a recent situation in which the current French president fell.

Nicolas Sarkozy, not knowing the monarchical protocol well, had believed at the beginning of his five-year term that he could disembark for a few hours after his trip to Algiers, says the author, stressing that “someone well introduced had explained to him that was not happening. He waited to make a state visit in the forms”.

Emmanuel Macron “believed he could behave with Morocco with a certain casualness”, remarks Benjelloun recalling the episode of the announcement of his trip to Morocco during a conversation with onlookers on the sidelines of the Touquet festival.

“After his return from Algiers, he replied to someone in the street who asked him a question about Morocco: “I will go to Morocco at the end of October. “The problem is that he was not invited to go to this country”, launches the writer who recalled the “sacred” cause of the Sahara for Morocco.

He stresses in this respect that France has not changed its position “so as not to offend the Algerian generals” and that Emmanuel Macron should simply see the situation as it is, recognizing that “the Moroccan position is right and that Algeria is wrong to continue to feed a conflict artificially created almost half a century ago by Houari Boumedienne”.

If Emmanuel Macron wants to repair the aftermath of a major Franco-Moroccan crisis, he knows what will have to be done, he continues, explaining that Morocco has been “punished” in the visa file since the Moroccan consulates do not have never refused to repatriate illegal Moroccans. He specifies in the sense that it is the French Ministry of the Interior which addressed to them indiscriminately Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan individuals. He did not differentiate between the three countries, and “Morocco cannot deal with illegal immigrants from other countries”, concludes the writer.

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