Manuel Valls was nominated by French President François Hollande as the new Prime Minister. This decision follows a striking failure during the latest French municipal elections, where the socialist party has experienced significant losses in favor of right and extreme right parties.
Since its accession to power in May 2012, Hollande’s administration has not shown a great appreciation of its Moroccan counterpart. Rabat was already irritated when the French President decided to choose Algeria rather than Morocco, as the destination of his first official visit in North Africa.
Tensions between Morocco and France got worse in the past few months. In February, French justice summoned Abdellatif Hammouchi, director of the Moroccan intelligence services (DGST) over accusations of torture while he was in Paris. This resulted in Morocco’s decision to suspend its judicial cooperation with France. Another episode occurred when Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, was subject to a profound search while transiting at the airport of Paris in March, in spite of stating his identity.
Would the new French government attempt to warm up its ties with Morocco? With key ministries still headed by the same individuals, it does not seem that there will be a substantial change in French foreign policy in the foreseeable future.
The Moroccan Times.