No. From the start, His Majesty King Mohammed VI took the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, decreeing strict borders closures, restrictions on movement and bans on gatherings. When the pollen was ready, the king was the first to use it and set an example.
Consequently, more and more countries trust the Moroccan model. For example, the parliaments of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Bolivia have asked their governments to follow the Moroccan example. In another area. The Polisario Front is leading an international campaign condemning the Moroccan government’s economic and commercial activities in the Sahara.
What do you think?
This campaign goes from failure to failure. The latest of which is the New Zealand agreement, which aims to suspend trade agreements concluded by this country with Morocco regarding the purchase of phosphates. The judiciary rejected the complaint, which aims to freeze the New Zealand sovereign funds invested there, declaring that these financial transactions are legal.
The Polisario’s argument is that Morocco occupies Western Sahara, and thus will steal its wealth …
No UN Security Council resolution on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara mentioned Morocco’s “occupation” of the Sahara. Therefore, the introduction is wrong and the conclusion is also wrong. In addition, I remind you that the so-called “Hans Corell report”, a legal opinion issued by the United Nations at the request of the Secretary-General, clearly affirms the legitimacy of investments and development plans that benefit the population living in the region … the Moroccan Sahara.
Is the same controversy currently taking place in Europe?
Yes that’s right. But the European Union has continued to defend the legitimacy of agricultural and fisheries agreements with the Kingdom of Morocco. Direct and indirect investments continue to flow into the southern provinces, not only from the United States, France and other European Union countries, but also from Russia, as evidenced by the latest fishing agreement signed with this country. Moroccan diplomacy active on the African continent is very impressive.
What is the reason for this dynamic?
The African continent to which Morocco belongs through history, geography and law has been one of the main axes of diplomacy inaugurated by His Majesty the King. The main focus of this diplomacy is the common interest and development of peoples. During his reign, His Majesty made more trips to Africa than to the rest of the world, and he signed more cooperation agreements with the countries of the continent than with the rest of the world. South-South cooperation is the focus of the Kingdom’s international projection. We want to do the same in Latin America and it is paying off. Another Arab country, the Kingdom of Jordan, has opened a consulate in Laayoune, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as many African countries.
What do you think?
It is an expression of the Arab world’s strong solidarity with the validity of the Moroccan Sahara issue, and with the proposal for autonomy submitted by His Majesty the King to solve this issue within a unified and sovereign Moroccan framework. Relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Federal Republic of Germany are currently at an all-time low.
Are we on the verge of a diplomatic breakdown?
The moment is delicate, because, as the Moroccan diplomatic statement emphasized, “deep differences over issues affecting the Kingdom of Morocco.” The assertiveness with which the king deals with state questions leaves no room for doubt and is exemplary. Although there was no question about “severing ties”, “red lines” as you call them exist and Morocco does not tolerate any transgression of them, whatever they are. The King, who is the Head of State and the Prince of the Faithful, is generous as much as he is firm in defending the kingdom’s core values.
Do you think this tension with Germany will soon end?
It is exclusively and exclusively dependent on Germany.
You were the first ambassador appointed by the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Cuba in 2017, after 37 years of division. How did the authorities receive you in Havana?
I can say well, with great respect and hope, imbued with the spirit of nobility and joy that characterizes the Cuban people. I think we can talk about closing an arc in binary history.
How did the Cuban people welcome you?
With great satisfaction and clear friendship. They opened all the doors for me. What unites us is more important than what divides us.
Prior to the restoration of bilateral relations, an event that can be considered historic: the private visit of King Mohammed VI to this country. How did the Cubans envision it? Have you heard of the impact of the royal visit in recent years?
As I have rightly said, this visit had a much greater historical significance than was written about it, which is truly colossal. Imagine that a head of state, in this case, His Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful, decides to go to a country with which Morocco does not have diplomatic relations because they were cut off in 1980 and has another culture that differs from the culture of Morocco. And a communist political system.
Never seen before in history. His Majesty King Mohammed VI wanted to make this trip, and he did. Deep friendship gesture. Diplomatic relations came later. Our Cuban friends have filled with pride. And I must say that he helped me a lot in my mission as an ambassador. Because in all the meetings I had, be it official or representatives of civil society, they all reminded me that they were very satisfied with this visit.
Do you think it was a wise decision to appoint a socialist cadre, from the Socialist Party, heir to militant nationalism, as ambassador to Cuba. Mehdi Ben Barka, who is so revered by Cuban leaders, was one day among the founders?
First of all, I must emphasize that His Majesty’s ambassadors in any country in the world represent His Majesty the King and the Moroccan state. In Cuba, too. Ambassadors are not appointed on behalf of political parties, ideologies, or social institutions: they are appointed by the king and come on behalf of the state. Having said that, I think this gesture from Morocco towards Cuba is important. In a way, it is as if the trip and bilateral agreements that Commander Che Guevara signed in Morocco 60 years ago, and Commander Fidel Castro’s warm meeting with King Hassan II at the Royal Palace in Rabat in 1963, are turned back. agenda.
Do you think that Cuba was surprised to learn about the Moroccan reality after a long period of ignorance?
One of the tasks of the Moroccan Embassy in Havana is to publicize the country, its history, culture, traditions, customs and progress. In particular, the democratic and social transformations that became a reality during the reign of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Indeed, leaders and representatives of the Cuban people at various levels, as well as academic and intellectual elites, were pleasantly surprised when they learned about the past, present and future of the Kingdom of Morocco. I admit that I had to make a great effort to make the ministerial representatives and the representatives of all sectors of the country understand the tremendous progress brought about by the new constitution of 2011 and the constitutional changes, democratization and improvements that His Majesty the King introduced in Morocco.
We recently witnessed an important event. Morocco decided to restore order at the border point with Mauritania in Guerguerat, to ensure the freedom of movement of trucks paralyzed by the Polisario militia, after which the separatist front announced that it had violated the agreements signed in 1991 and resumed arms, but Morocco remained steadfast. How did the Cuban leaders envision this situation?
Many around the world were surprised by the determination shown by King Mohammed VI to restore the situation on the kingdom’s southern borders as part of a peaceful military operation, which was praised and supported by almost all Arab and African countries. The United Nations and the major world powers called for calm and a return to dialogue. This was the position of the Kingdom of Morocco at that time.
But the separatists insist on their provocations by continuing the so-called war. This situation prompted our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, to declare that “we cannot sit down to negotiate with the roadmen.” It is irresponsible behavior on the part of separatists who are raving about false martyrs, which makes the world believe that they are fighting a just war.
Who does the United Nations address when it calls for a return to calm?
To the Polisario separatist movement, it is clear that it was not only the source of the provocation, but also continued in it. This illusory “declaration of war” has not received the explicit support of any country in the world, not even the one that has supported Polisario for decades. Neither Cuba, Venezuela, South Africa nor even Algeria have said that they support “the return of arms,” as the Polisario calls it.
Do you mean that Cuba does not support the Polisario?
There was no official statement in this regard, either by the Cuban government or by the Communist Party. A month ago, coinciding with the date on which the Polisario celebrates the so-called anniversary of the founding of its phantom republic, I sent a message from the President of the National Assembly and a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party, Esteban Lazo Hernandez. To his “Sahrawi counterpart” was published on the website of the “Parliamentary Friendship Committee between Cuba and the Separatist Movement”. In this letter, he never mentioned the issue of Cuban support for the “return to arms” declared by the Polisario militia, nor the “armed struggle for national liberation”, nothing at all. He confined himself to saying that Cuba supported and supported the steps taken by the United Nations to solve this issue, and that it would continue to show solidarity in the field of health and education with “the refugee population in the camps. De Tindouf”, located in Algeria. But the letter does not say a single word about the so-called war.