Catherine Colonna in Rabat to pick up the broken pieces

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna is expected to arrive in Morocco this Thursday, December 15 to prepare for Emmanuel Macron’s visit announced for January (maybe later!), after months of cold weather between Paris and Rabat.

It may not seem like it, but the crisis is there, latent between our two countries. On the diplomatic level, several subjects have angered and still anger, like that of restricting access to visas or the timid position of France on the territorial sovereignty of Morocco. If we add to this the recent (and not innocent) rapprochement between France and Algeria, and many other issues on both sides, it’s not pretty pretty.

So we can say that Catherine Colonna has her work cut out before she clears the ground and considers reconciliation through a more sincere resumption of relations between Paris and Rabat. The Kingdom, which has made the diversification of its partnerships its hobbyhorse, sees this being badly perceived on the side of France, which notes that an influence which was once exclusive to it is gradually escaping it.

But there you go, they are nevertheless harbingers that do not deceive in the desire for a way out of the crisis that does not want to say its name. First, King Mohammed VI and the French President have never broken contact between them and the phone calls between the two Heads of State, which have multiplied in recent times, bear witness to this. And then there is the appointment of a new French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, a man who, thanks to diplomatic know-how and even more, has a profile that does not seem to displease Rabat.

In addition, the MAE’s “France Diplomatie” site tells us that in June Catherine Colonna in an interview with her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita recalled ” France’s attachment to the exceptional partnership, which links our two countries, and to its deepening “.

The desire to establish a base for rebounding is therefore real. The two ministers is it still said ” reviewed future opportunities for the bilateral relationship. They also addressed cultural, educational and economic issues, in particular areas of the future such as renewable energies and high-tech sectors. “.

We can see there and beyond diplomatic gentleness, that after months of a crisis in the making, a certain will to want to trigger a new dynamic in the bilateral relationship, tarnished, among other things, by the question of visas.

That said, Catherine Colonna, who is coming to Morocco to “prepare” President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Kingdom, will also have to warm up relations between Paris and Rabat beforehand, or at least try to do so. It will kill two birds with this stone, a real reconciliation which will be encouraging for the future and which goes in the direction of an “exceptional partnership“.

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