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    Morocco, Saudi Arabia Reaffirm Commitment to Improving Relations

    The Moroccan and Saudi foreign ministers reiterated that the two countries enjoy exceptional bilateral relations, despite long-running rumors of a rift lurking beneath the surface of Rabat-Riyadh diplomacy.

    30 Jul 2020

    Rabat – Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita met with his Saudi counterpart on Wednesday, and the two officials reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations.

    Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said his July 29 talks with Bourita “focused on various aspects of the close relations uniting the two brotherly countries, in particular within the framework of a solid and historic fraternity,” Morocco’s state media reported.

    In addition to discussions of regional challenges, the foreign ministers expressed a mutual interest in improving diplomatic ties between Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

    Bin Farhan called for stronger relations between Morocco and Saudi Arabia through “permanent coordination in all areas, in the service of the interests of the two countries and of the two fraternal peoples, in accordance with the guidelines of the leaders of the two countries.”

    He added that his meeting with Bourita “reflects the harmony and visions between the two countries in light of the challenges facing the Arab world, in particular, the scourge of foreign interference, terrorism, and of the destabilization of security and stability in the region.”

    “Morocco and Saudi Arabia are working to lay the foundations for peace in the region,” the Saudi foreign minister underlined.

    The rumored rift between Morocco and Saudi Arabia

    Since 2017, rumors of a rift between Morocco and Saudi Arabia have cast a shadow over Rabat-Riyadh diplomacy.

    The alleged animosity began when Morocco refused to back the Saudi-led coalition in the Qatar blockade in November 2017. The North African country has maintained neutrality throughout the Gulf crisis, upholding diplomatic ties with both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two main regional rivals.

    To the dismay of Saudi Arabia, King Mohammed VI visited Qatar that month and ordered the Moroccan government to send the island country food assistance.

    In March 2018, Turki Al Sheikh, an advisor to the Saudi royal family, repeatedly and publicly snubbed Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid.

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