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France hails Morocco anti-terror help ahead of Olympics

By AFP

April 22, 2024 09:39 PM


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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin in an official visit to Morocco on Monday lauded the kingdom's help in fighting terrorism in France as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Olympics.

Darmanin's visit in the capital Rabat comes amid efforts to bring the two countries closer after a series of tensions and a sharp deterioration in France's relations with countries in the Sahel.

"Without the Moroccan intelligence services, France would be more affected by terrorism," Darmanin said in a meeting with Moroccan Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit.

"We thank them greatly, particularly in anticipation of the Olympic Games," which start in late July, Darmanin added.

He said the two countries will also work together to ensure safety for the African Cup of Nations football tournament which Morocco will host next year.

Darmanin is among several French ministers visiting Morocco over the past three months, in an effort to bring about "a profound renewal and modernisation of the French-Moroccan relationship," Darmanin said.

Tensions between Rabat and Paris, the former colonial power, included 2021 visa restrictions by France for Moroccan nationals. The kingdom has also been upset by French President Emmanuel Macron's desired rapprochement with Algeria, its regional rival.

In the Sahel, France was forced to withdraw troops from Mali in 2022 and from Niger and Burkina Faso last year after coups saw relations nosedive and ushered in growing Russian military involvement.


AFP


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