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Morocco breaks silence on Iran’s absence of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s meeting

Ten days after Rabat hosted the 14th session of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States, Morocco broke silence on Iran’s absence. The Kingdom’s parliament speaker believes that «Tehran disrespected the session’s rules».

The Moroccan parliament./Ph. DR
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Officials in Tehran said that the Moroccan authorities denied «entry» to the Iranian delegation to attend the international organization’s conference, held in Rabat.

On Tuesday, March the 19th, the House of Representatives’ Speaker Habib El Malki addressed these reports, during a press briefing. Bringing Morocco’s version of the story, El Malki said that the Kingdom «has fulfilled all the requirements» of OIC’s General Secretariat when chairing the event.

On the other hand, El Malki put the ball in Iran’s court, stressing that the country «did not respect the rules» to take part in the session. He also acknowledged that «it is difficult to accept a delegation of 30 or 40 people», referring to logistics and accommodation.

Iran chaired the 13th session of the Parliamentary Union of the OIS Member States

El Malki also revealed that Rabat has urged the OIC General Secretariat to ask Islamic countries to reduce the number of representatives participating to their delegations. Apparently, and according to him, Iran did not abide by these rules.

The Parliament Speaker said that invitations were not sent by Morocco, noting that it was a mission assigned to the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen and the body’s former presidency. El Malki forgot to mention that Iran chaired the 13th session of the Parliamentary Union of the OIS Member States, held January, 2018 in Tehran.

Last week, several newspapers reported that the Iranian delegation was banned from participating to the event, held in the Moroccan parliament, due to the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Speaking to London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Mohammed Qureshi Nias, an official within the Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States said that «the Iranian brothers couldn’t attend the conference» after they «arrived in Casablanca, and were denied entry without an explanation».

For the record, Morocco cut in May, 2018, diplomatic ties with Iran, accusing the country and Lebanese political party Hezbollah of interfering the Kingdom’s domestic affairs by providing support for the Polisario Front.

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