Morocco – Visit by Catherine Colonna (15-16 December 2022)


Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be visiting Rabat from December 15-16.
The Minister will be welcomed by her counterpart, Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates. This meeting will give them the chance to discuss all aspects of the exceptional bilateral partnership between Morocco and France, which is characterized, above all, by very close, rich human ties spanning the Mediterranean. The two ministers will also discuss our two countries’ many economic ties, as well as regional and global issues of shared interest, in particular the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its consequences, including, first and foremost, food insecurity, which is having an especially deep impact on Africa.
The Minister will meet with representatives of the Moroccan business community and will visit the French Lycée Descartes in Rabat. She will visit the school’s Center for Arab Studies on World Arabic Language Day this December 18.

I would like to come back to Catherine Colonna’s trip to Rabat tomorrow. You mentioned the main topics that will be addressed tomorrow. Will the most sensitive topics be addressed? I’m thinking primarily of the issues around visas and Western Sahara. Will Paris possibly clarify its position tomorrow and, either way, will the Minister be discussing these topics?

Regarding Western Sahara, you know what our position is. Regarding the visa issue, of course this will also be addressed by the Minister. As you know, we have had numerous conversations about this with the Moroccan authorities. We have noted some very positive changes regarding readmission so this is something that the Minister will be raising with her counterpart.

Regarding Morocco and other topics having to do with France and Morocco that are sometimes controversial, will Pegasus be discussed, for example? Will Qatargate, which also involves Morocco, be discussed? Also, will the issue of Europe-bound migration be discussed, more generally speaking? And if so, how will these three issues be discussed?

We intend to discuss all these issues with trusted partners in the context of the exceptional partnership that we enjoy with Morocco. As I mentioned previously, this includes migration. As concerns the Pegasus case, as you know, there are legal proceedings underway, and it is not my place to comment on them. You also mentioned Qatargate. Based on the information that we have at this time, this is an extremely serious matter that has been brought before the courts, as you know. We hope that the fullest light will be shed on what appear to be particularly serious instances of corruption. You mentioned Morocco. We have no knowledge of any such conduct relating to this matter.