Morocco rejected on Saturday remarks by French Foreign Minister Catherina Colonna who siad President Emmanuel Macron will visit Morocco.
A government official said Macron has neither an agenda nor a planned visit to Morocco, according to the Moroccan official news agency, MAP.
“I am surprised that the French foreign minister has taken such a unilateral initiative and allowed herself the freedom to make such an announcement without holding talks on an important issue that is within the competence of both sides,” the official said on condition of anonymity due to media-related restrictions.
Colonna told a local television channel on Friday that Macron was planning to visit Morocco at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.
France on Sept. 8 had offered to send a search and rescue team after a deadly earthquake in Morocco, but the Rabat administration declined the offer of assistance, except for Qatar, the UK, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Spain.
Morocco’s attitude toward Paris’ offer of assistance caused controversy in France, which led Macron to ignore the government and make a statement addressed to the Moroccan people.
The French president said the quake shook France as well as Morocco, stressing that the French government was on the side of the Moroccan people and Paris had every opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance.
Although it is known that the authority is held by the king and the government, Macron’s move caused comments that he was “longing for the colonial period” in Morocco.
*Writing by Merve Berker