By Souad Sbai
After almost two months of ‘penance’ waiting at a hotel in Rabat, paying their expenses, the Moroccan ambassadors knew the new assignments in the presence of King Mohammed VI. The former Head of Mission to Italy ends up in Romania. It sounds like detachment. The indifference shown for weeks towards the death of Imane Fadil also provoked criticism.
The history of the Moroccan ambassadors ended up in a “diplomatic” way, for those who for approximately two months were waiting for the communication about their future foreign destination in a hotel in Rabat; at their expense.
On April 29, the ambassadors, about twenty, moved to the Hotel Hassan in the capital in view of the traditional award ceremony for the new roles presided over by King Mohammed VI. The ceremony should have taken place on April 30, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but for the Moroccan authorities it was not the right time to celebrate.
In fact, the list of cases of corruption and inappropriate behavior by the highest representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco in the world is too long and heavy. A Ramadan of penitence, plus another month of tribulations due to the uncertainty about their professional future was the method chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reeducate its officials in compliance with the basic rules of conduct for the diplomatic profession.
Finally, on June 25, a meeting was held with Mohammed VI, who proclaimed the new destinations assigned to the ambassadors. Certainly, Romanian headquarters is very different from that of the United States, where those who have served as Head of Mission in Italy are usually sent. Bucharest instead of Washington, sounds, therefore, as a punishment obtained by the career ambitions developed during the Roman years of embezzlement and economic speculation, that culminated in a scandal where Imane Fadil’s specter, the Moroccan woman who died in dark circumstances, continues to hover.
The indifference shown for weeks towards the death of a young woman who was a full-fledged member of the Moroccan community in Italy sparked criticism, scandal and suspicion, because it was the Ambassador’s duty to show interest and closeness immediately.
The assignment of the Romanian headquarters corresponds to a corrective measure; a location from which he can harm as little as possible the Moroccan interests, the image of the Kingdom and its relations with other States. The Moroccan community in Italy is happy and looks with confidence to the new diplomatic course, hoping to resume the path of collaboration and osmosis with the Embassy in Rome, interrupted for nine years. Of course, to remedy the damage caused by the previous management, a significant change is required, which must also involve the world of Moroccan religious associationism.
By the will of the old regime, the orientation of the different regional federations seems to be closer to that of the Muslim Brotherhood – also funded in Italy with tens of millions of euros from Qatar (as documented in the research-book Qatar Papers) – rather than to that of the moderate religiosity traditionally promoted by Moroccan institutions abroad. Reversing this trend requires time and, above all, political will. This cannot be missed, because Morocco must not allow itself to be incorporated in any way into the Islamist agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and of the countries that sponsor them: Emirs Al Thani’s Qatar and Erdogan’s Turkey.
Morocco is by nature a bridge of dialogue and cooperation between Europe and the Arab world, between Christianity and Islam, as confirmed by Pope Francis’ recent visit and by his meeting with King Mohammed VI. The new diplomatic course in Italy is called to ensure that Morocco will preserve and further strengthen this peculiar characteristic, in pursuit of the interests of the Moroccan community.
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana