• 22:29
  • Tuesday ,06 January 2015

Three points of tension between Egypt and Morocco

By Egypt Independent

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Tuesday ,06 January 2015

Three points of tension between Egypt and Morocco

The official Moroccan TV Channel One has triggered tension in the relations between Egypt and Morocco last Thursday when it said in the evening news that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a coup against the elected president Mohamed Morsy.

The channel had broadcast a detailed report on 3 July 2013 about the overthrow of the Brotherhood and the arrests subsequent to the dispersal of the Rabaa and al-Nahda sit-ins, citing the director of the Moroccan Center for Strategic Studies, Mohamed Benhamou, who considered Morsy’s ousting an abolition of democracy and a suspension of the constitution that was chosen by the Egyptian people, and who portended a bleak future for the country in light of political tension.
In the following report, Al-Masry Lite tackles the reasons behind the major change in the relations between the two countries.
TV presenter Amani al-Khayat offends Morocco
In July 2013, Egyptian talk show host Amani al-Khayat of ONTV showed a video of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal thanking the Moroccan king and the Moroccan people, accusing the king of conspiring with the Islamists and involving them in the government, fearing they would revolt against him and threaten his throne. She also said that Morocco is a country whose economy is based on prostitution and whose people have AIDS.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the channel management issued an apology for that episode and Khayat was fired.

The Brotherhood ruling party
The Justice and Development Party, with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is the ruling party in Morocco. It portrays itself as a national political party with an Islamic reference under a constitutional monarchy that aims to build a modern, democratic and prosperous Morocco that is proud of its history and that contributes positively to human civilization.
The party won the parliamentary elections of 2011 and formed a government on 3 January 2012 of 31 ministers, including 11 ministers from its ranks. It was headed by Abdelilah Benkirane, the party’s secretary general.
That party, which controls the various ministries and public institutions of Morocco, is the very political arm of the Islamic Tawhid Wal Islah group, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco.
The BBC says the party adopts the same policies and bears the same name of the ruling party in Turkey.

The Western Sahara
Morocco fears a rapprochement between Egypt and the Polisario Front, which has pushed for independence of the Western Sahara region since the 1970s, to which Morocco proposes autonomy as an alternative.
Egypt was for the first time involved in this three-decade conflict when the Egyptian undersecretary of the Culture Ministry visited the front’s leader, Mohammed Abdulaziz, on 24 October of last year.
The Somoud website that follows the issue of the Sahara said the Egyptian delegation visited the National Resistance Museum, the Sahrawi Red Crescent Society, the Association of Relatives of Detainees and Missing Sahrawis, the Sahrawi Referendum Committee and the Ministries of Culture and Information.
And there were more official visits, the latest of which was of a delegation from the Egyptian media last December to see the situation of the Sahrawi refugees.
The Sahrawis are waiting for the UN Security Council to determine a date for a referendum for their self-determination in February.