Relations between France and Morocco are blocked because of the ambiguous position of Paris on the subject of the Sahara. According to Mustapha Tossa, all the other elements of crisis which disturb relations between the two countries are only the consequence of the French positioning.
“Officially it sticks to the fact that Morocco, through King Mohammed VI, had formulated a political request with regard to France and a certain number of European countries (to say) that the time has come to leave of the gray zone, the comfort zone, which consists in not fully officially recognizing the Moroccanness of the Sahara, Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara. And this Moroccan royal request did not have the (expected) response” from France, indicated the Franco-Moroccan journalist on the radio program Sur le ring.
According to him, this position is really “the sticking point” between the two countries. The journalist believes that “if tomorrow French diplomacy leaves its comfort zone and that through Emmanuel Macron or its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, France recognizes the Moroccanness of the Sahara as it was done by the Americans and a certain number of European countries, the Germans and the Spaniards, like also many Arab and African countries (…), there would be a new dynamic in the Franco-Moroccan relationship”, he explains. . “I’m sure of it”, slice Tossa.
The lack of change in France’s position on the Sahara, “this is what has paralyzed the political dialogue” between the two countries, as well as high-level visits, he underlines, speaking of a “Moroccan demand and a French silence”.
Mustapha Tossa continues that this is also the cause of the absence of appointment of a new Moroccan ambassador to Paris since the recall of Mohamed Benchaaboun to lead the Mohammed VI Fund and “Christophe Lecourtier who is there without being there”.
“If French diplomacy moves its lines on this subject, I believe that Moroccans could forget all other forms of crisis” to give a “new dynamic spirit” in Franco-Moroccan relations, believes the specialist in Maghreb affairs.
On the recent revelations of Moroccan writer Tahar Benjelloun, journalist Mustapha Tossa said: “What Tahar Benjelloun said and what other sources say, for me, are the consequences of this misunderstanding between Paris and Flap”.
He indicates in this sense that “the problem of visas, the resolution of the European Parliament, even the media campaigns against Morocco, I integrate them into this extremely important and sensitive showdown between two friendly countries, intimately linked by history, through culture and economy”.
This deep malaise and this major diplomatic crisis between the two countries will not allow the organization of an official visit by President Emmanuel Macron to Morocco, he says.
According to Mustapha Tossa, this visit is “unthinkable” because Moroccans are waiting for the French deep state to move on the Sahara issue.
He considers in this regard that if Paris does not move in the direction of recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara, even if relations were to resume there will be no reconnection at the same level, nor of the “vital and at the height of the stakes between the two countries”.
Tossa recalls that everything was said in the sentence of King Mohammed VI in which he explained that the Sahara is the prism through which Morocco observes its external relations with its allies and friends.
“We cannot be friends and have a very dense economic relationship and here I am talking about structuring and gigantic projects with France, if they do not make the effort to adapt to the new equations experienced by this conflict”, concludes- he.