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Morocco withdraws ambassador from Abu Dhabi

Moroccan media reported, on Wednesday, that Rabat has withdrawn its ambassador and consulates in the UAE, due to the Emirati authorities’ reluctance for a whole year to appoint an ambassador in Rabat to fill the vacancy.

Meanwhile, the Anadolu Agency was not able to obtain immediate comments from the Moroccan authorities on this matter, and Rabat did not issue any official announcement in this regard until 13:20 GMT.

Local websites, including Maghreb Intelligence and Rue20, said that “an unprecedented diplomatic crisis has erupted between Morocco and the UAE, as Morocco has withdrawn, since last week, its ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Ait Ali, who has been in office for more than nine years. Thus, the Moroccan consulates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were also summoned. ”

According to the same sources, “Rabat has also emptied its embassy (in Abu Dhabi) by summoning all the consultants and Chargé d’Affaires, which greatly reduced its diplomatic representation in the UAE.”

Media reports attributed the reason for this development, quoting an unnamed Moroccan official, to the position of the UAE’s failure to appoint an ambassador to Morocco for about a year.

For his part, the pro-government website reported that “relations between the two countries are not going well after the ambassadors were withdrawn.”

The website indicated that “the relations between the two countries are tepid, which has been reflected by many indicators, the most prominent of which is the UAE’s reluctance to appoint an ambassador in Rabat for more than a year, leading to worsening the crisis and pushing Morocco to withdraw its ambassador from Abu Dhabi.”

The website pointed out that “Abu Dhabi is suspicious about the good ties between Morocco and Qatar, which has been besieged by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis in June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Doha, the Moroccan-Emirati relations have witnessed an unprecedented weakness in ties, which has been noticed through many indicators.

Last April, Moroccan media reported the departure of the Emirati ambassador to Rabat Ali Salem Al Kaabi, based on an “urgent sovereign request,” without elaborating on the reasons for summoning the UAE official.

During the Gulf crisis that continues to this day, Morocco chose to remain neutral, offered to mediate between the conflicting parties, and sent a plane filled with alimentary commodities to Qatar. Thus, the Moroccan monarch later visited Doha in November 2017 and met the Qatari prince.

On 27 March, during a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi in the capital, Rabat, Nasser Bourita, Secretary-General of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation spoke of what has been understood as “four conditions that are necessary to maintain coordination with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”

First, foreign policy is a matter of sovereignty for Morocco. Secondly, coordination with the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, should be maintained following the desire of both sides. Thirdly, coordination between the two parties should not be on-demand, and fourthly, coordination must include all the critical issues in the Middle East and North Africa, like the Libyan crisis, for instance.