Rabat  – Morocco’s Parliament has reiterated its condemnation of the ongoing maneuvers and hostile campaigns by the European Parliament (EP) against the country’s territorial integrity and interference in its judiciary system.

Convening today at a conference to discuss what it called flagrant attacks from the European Parliament, the Moroccan Parliament said the goal of the event was to inform the public and media on the systematic attacks and maneuvers from within the EU targeting Morocco.

As well as members of Morocco’s parliament, participating in the conference were representatives from civil society, experts, and lawyers. The meeting discussed the bases of the systematic attacks and answered journalists’ and experts’ questions on the impacts of similar attacks on EU-Morocco bilateral relations.

Rachid Talbi Alami, Speaker of the House of Representatives Rachid Talbi Alami, opened the debate by describing the campaigns against Morocco as unfair.

The Moroccan official emphasized that the EP has been leading the campaign since January 19, the date of its vote on a resolution that accused Morocco of “intimidating” and “harassing” journalists, activists, and diaspora members.

The MP also stressed the European Parliament’s allegations accusing Morocco of corruption and espionage as part of the Pegasus case.

Frustration with Morocco’s diplomatic gains

Alami, who recalled the Moroccan Parliament’s previous meeting on the EP resolution, reiterated the institution’s condemnation of the “blatant accusations against” Morocco, stressing that Morocco is aware of the background and motives behind the adoption of the resolution.

“It is targeting our international positioning,” Alami said, referencing Morocco’s diplomatic gains over the past decade, including its growing strategic primacy in Africa and the increasingly irreversible pro-Morocco momentum on the Western Sahara question. 

“Morocco is an organized country of law and is a democratic and institutionally democratic country through transparent elections, and prestigious political parties,” Alami said, adding that the allegations underpinning the EU Parliament’s case against Morocco lack substance and are politically motivated.

The Moroccan official also reiterated condemnation of the EP’s undermining of the Moroccan judiciary, referencing the EU body’s accusations targeting Moroccan courts’ decision to sentence some journalists charged for sexual misbehavior.

In its January 19 resolution, the European Parliament particularly discussed the case of Omar Radi, a Moroccan journalist who received a six-year prison sentence after his colleague Hafssa Boutahar accused him of rape. Radi’s victim has frequently opened up about her disappointment over claims questioning the legitimacy of her case, stressing that she felt “unprotected” amid accusations that she had fabricated her story.

Morocco-EU Parliament Fragile relations

Fouad El Kadiri , the vice president of the House of Councillors, echoed Alami’s remarks, reiterating the Moroccan parliament’s condemnation of the EU Parliament’s “blatant” and “unfounded” allegations against Morocco.

Morocco’s relationship with the European Parliament was “never stable,” Kadiri said, emphasizing the presence of “up and down” ties that “could explode anytime.” He concluded: “Nothing can guarantee that it won’t explode anytime.”

Ibrahim Rachidi, lawyer and legal expert, agrees that Morocco’s growing assertiveness and its numerous diplomatic gains over the years have contributed to making the country a target to hostile campaigns aimed at smearing the country and its institutions.

“Our country reached many milestones thanks to the royal diplomacy,” he said, recalling the growing number of African countries supporting Morocco’s Western Sahara stance as well as the US recognition of Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its southern provinces.

‘We have no issue with EU and its commission’

Lahcen Haddad, President of the Moroccan-European Union (EU), also commented on the EP’s hostile campaign – stressing that the issue is not with the European Union or its institutions – commission or its chamber of representatives.

“We continue to work with them. Last week there was another resolution about the Sahara population that can benefit from the trade agreement [between Morocco and the EU]. It was a very positive interaction,” he said. 

Haddad acknowledged, however, that there have always been within the European Parliament members who have a problem with Morocco. “They used their position to attack Morocco as a platform of high capabilities in an instructional way to attack Morocco,” he explained.

Amid an already intense context for Morocco-EU relations, some MEPs on February 7 held a meeting with the self-described human activist and Polisario supporter Sultana Khaya. Andreas Schieder, an Austrian MEP, invited the controversial separatist member to an event at the headquarters of the European Parliament, providing further indication of the depth of some MEPs’ fixation on undermining Morocco’s territorial integrity. 

Many in the EU continue to renew their satisfaction with Morocco’s efforts on the migration front and other security-related questions, stressing their determination to further relations with Morocco. Yet some EU bodies’ continuous questioning of the legitimacy of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara region suggest the friction between Rabat and Brussels will remain fragile for the foreseeable future.

Source: Morocco World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *