French ambassador to Morocco distances Paris from European Parliament’s criticism of Rabat

Archive – Flags of Morocco – Europa Press/Contacto/Joel Marklund

The French ambassador in Rabat, Christophe Lecourtier, has disassociated France from the recent declaration of the European Parliament criticizing the press freedom situation in the country, as well as the alleged bribery scheme to gain influence in Brussels.

«The European Parliament’s resolution in no way binds France,» he said in an interview with the Casablanca weekly ‘TelQuel’.

«We are responsible for the decisions of the French authorities, (but) the European Parliament is far from our authority. These are personalities who have been elected. There is diversity of groups and currents of ideas. The French government cannot take responsibility for the MEPs,» he added.

The European Parliament’s text called for respect for freedom of expression and of the media, denounced the use of the ‘Pegasus’ spying program and also demanded «a fair trial» for the imprisoned journalists Omar Radi, Sulaiman Raisuni and Taufik Buachrine. It also denounced Moroccan bribes to gain influence in Brussels.

Lecourtier was recently appointed to represent France in Morocco and aims to restore momentum to a bilateral relationship affected by recent clashes. «I would like us to work together on tomorrow’s challenges (…). Our will would be to find the means to contribute to the success» of Morocco, he has indicated.

The ambassador mentioned three main themes around which powerful synergies could be established: «energy, industry and human capital».

According to his analysis, the kingdom could be the big winner of the current redistribution of the cards at the geopolitical level: «For 20 years, the West has played the China card to the maximum and today we are coming back. We are therefore looking to offshore essential activities to reduce our dependence, but this conception of industrial sovereignty includes partner countries, those closest to us geographically,» he pointed out.