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French Republicans Urge Macron to Mend Ties With Morocco

French Republicans were the latest in a wave of voices that called on Emmanuel Macron to break away from his Algeria bias in favor of mending ties with Morocco. “What a suffering for all those who love France like us to see our country incapable of defending its interests…I blame the head of state. I blame him for sacrificing our relation with Morocco in an attempt to please Algeria,” said the Republicans deputee Michelle Tabarot at a meeting of her party marking the end of the summer break.

“There would be no Mediterranean policy without Morocco. The president of the republic needs to understand this,” she said. “I ask (Macron) to put an end to these ties of submission with Algeria and to leave Evian accords,” she said. Earlier this summer, a group of 94 members of the French parliament sent a letter to President Macron urging him to make a stand in support of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara territory as part of efforts to restore an African-French foreign policy in demise.

“In Morocco, French procrastination on the Sahara (at a time Spain and Germany recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara) and the balance seeking policy by the Quai D’Orsay with Algeria, have pushed the Royal Palace to seek defense and economic partners elsewhere,” noted the letter. Former president Sarkozy has also rebuked Macron for worsening ties with Rabat.

“We risk losing everything! We will not win Algeria’s trust but we will lose that of Morocco,” Sarkozy said on the occasion of the publication of a book that blames Macron for the erosion of French influence in the Maghreb and Africa. “Let’s not try to build an artificial friendship with Algerian leaders who systematically use France as a scapegoat to mask their own failures and legitimacy deficit. They will always reject it,” warned Sarkozy. Following Israel’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara, influential members of the French political class urged Macron to recognize the Sahara as part of Morocco, following similar moves by the US and Israel.

These include Head of Les Republicains party, Eric Ciotti, Head of the UDI party and senator Herve Marseille. While France has supported Morocco’s autonomy initiative, the administration of President Macron has yet to make its stand clear on the matter amid a global momentum in favor of Morocco’s territorial integrity and its autonomy initiative for the southern provinces. So far, Paris has dragged its feet on recognizing the Sahara issue in the hope that it will improve ties with Algeria. Its hope turned to be a chimera as Algeria tilted to the Russian axis while persisting in hostility to France, going as far as introducing an anti-French stanzas in its national anthem.

In the meantime, Morocco forged ahead building alliances and partnerships elsewhere, bolstered by a growing support in the African continent and beyond for its historic rights over its Saharan provinces. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had said that the Sahara is the prism through which Morocco measures the sincerity of partnerships and that Morocco will not enter into an economic or commercial step that excludes the Sahara territory.

Source: NAP