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When Rabat warned Riyadh and Abu Dhabi against the Iranian threat

Two years ago, Morocco warned Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against the Iranian threat. At the time, Rabat’s forewarning was ignored by the leaders of these Arab states. In Mecca, the final statement of the Arab League summit’s final statement proved Morocco right.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. / Ph. DR

The extraordinary Arab League summit held in Mecca, on May 30, was mainly devoted to Iran’s interference in Gulf countries’ affairs. The same idea was conveyed by Morocco two years ago.

A belated realization that Rabat has been addressing when Gulf countries accused Qatar of being the real enemy. Indeed, in June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha, banning Qatari airplanes and ships from utilizing their airspace, sea routes and land crossing.

Meanwhile, other Arab countries decided, out of solidarity, to cut ties with Qatar (Mauritania and Comoros) recall their ambassadors or reduce their diplomatic representations in the country (Jordan).

Only Morocco made an exception, by being one of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s allies that refused the blockage imposed on Qatar. Despite pressure from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, Morocco sent planes loaded with food supplies to Doha. Rabat’s support was not well received by its allies in the region.

Morocco’s justification

The Kingdom then had to explain itself. «This position is based on the sincere and brotherly relations that his Majesty the King Mohammed VI maintains with his brother kings and princes in the Gulf Cooperation Council member states, the strategic and exceptional partnership between the Kingdom and the organization and the strong links between the Moroccan people and the peoples of these countries», Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on June 12, 2017.

This diplomatic message emphasized that Doha is not the real enemy and insisted on the Kingdom's commitment to defend the security of the Gulf monarchies. The text thus recalled the support of Morocco to the Emirates to recover three islands occupied by the Iranian regime, the rupture of its diplomatic relations with Iran (March 2009) in solidarity with Bahrain, and its participation in the Arab coalition for the support for legitimacy in Yemen.

The Kingdom warned Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama against the risk of «non-Arab parties trying to exploit this crisis to strengthen their position in the region and undermine the supreme interests of these countries», referring to Tehran.

Two years later, facts seem to prove Morocco right. Saudi Arabia called for an emergency summit following the attacks that targeted its oil facilities and condemned Tehran's interference in Gulf countries affairs. 

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