French Interior Minister to Visit Morocco After Year-long Diplomatic Crisis

Rabat- French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will visit the kingdom on Saturday. This is the first visit of a French official to Morocco since the end of a year-long diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Paris.


According to news website Media24, the visit of Bernard Cazeneuve will be “officially” confirmed in the coming hours. The French Interior Minister is expected to hold talks with Moroccan officials about the security cooperation between the two countries in the light of the growing Jihadist threats.

The two countries resumed judicial and security cooperation agreements in January. France apparently wants intelligence from Morocco on terrorism suspects, especially in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Paris Jewish store in Paris.

More than a thousand nationals from both countries have reportedly joined the ranks of extremist groups in the Middle East, including the terrorist organization the Islamic State (IS) which controls swaths of land in Iraq and Syria.

In October, The Moroccan authorities arrested two French nationals allegedly affiliated to the Islamic State in the city of Kenitra, who had “serious terrorist plans”.

The first degree criminal court in charge of terrorism affairs in Sale gave verdicts ranging from 3 to 5 years imprisonment with no parole to eight people, including a French national, on terrorism charges.

The number of terrorism cases in the year 2014 in Morocco reached 147 cases against 64 in 213, which is an increase of 129.68%, according to official sources.