Moroccan envoy to Cairo denies called home

The ambassador denies being called home due to tensions between Rabat and Cairo and that his visit was routine.

Moroccan envoy to Cairo denies called home
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 Moroccan Ambassador to Egypt Saad al-Alami denied Tuesday that he had been called home due to tension between Rabat and Cairo.

Al-Alami told the Maroc News 24 website that his current visit to Rabat was a "routine" one, stressing that he had not been called home due to a recent diplomatic row with Cairo.

Last week, Cairo was dismayed by references to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Moroccan state television as a "coup leader."

Al-Sisi, the former army general who was declared winner of last year's presidential polls in Egypt, played a key role in overthrowing Morsi – a Muslim Brotherhood leader who became Egypt's first freely elected president – following protests in the summer of 2013 against Morsi's single year in office.

Since then, the Egyptian authorities have refuted the perception that Morsi's ouster was a military coup, insisting that the army had "responded to popular will" by removing Morsi.

Al-Alami, for his part, denied rumors that he had been recalled by Rabat in order to "clarify" statements that he had recently made to an Egyptian newspaper regarding the state television reference.

The newspaper had quoted al-Alami as saying that "an unidentified party" stood behind the said television report in order to sow division between Cairo and Rabat.

However, al-Alami said his statements had been taken out of context.

"Efforts should be made to end the media war between the two countries," he said.

"Egypt and Morocco need each other," al-Alami said, maintaining that the current tension "appears to be easing."

On Thursday, two Moroccan state television channels described al-Sisi as a "coup leader." They also referred to Morsi as Egypt's "legitimate president."

It was the first time for Moroccan state media to describe the Egyptian army's ouster of Morsi as a "coup."

Morocco's King Mohammed VI had congratulated al-Sisi after the latter was declared president of Egypt in June.

Last summer, Egyptian TV anchor Amani al-Khayyat irked many Moroccans after criticizing Rabat's role in the perennial Palestine-Israel dispute.

Al-Khayyat had also asserted that "one of the pillars of the Moroccan economy is prostitution" and that Morocco was "among the top countries affected by HIV," suggesting that such practices were taking place under "Islamist rule."

Moroccan activists at the time urged the government – which is led by the Islamist Justice and Development Party – to demand an official apology from the Egyptian government.

Al-Khayyat later apologized for her remarks after Egypt's Foreign Ministry distanced the government from her statements.

 

Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2015, 17:16
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