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Musings From Abroad

Morocco hits another high as France plan to end visa restrictions for Moroccans

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Beyond its successful cinderella run at the ongoing FIFA world cup, Morocco has something else to cheer in the international arena as a European powerhouse, France, has announced that it will end visa restrictions for Moroccan nationals, the foreign minister said on Friday.

The French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on Friday after talks with her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat.

“We’ve taken measures with our Moroccan partners to re-establish a consular relationship,” Colonna said.

Morocco’s Bourita said France had made a unilateral decision to end restrictions after what he said was also a unilateral decision to introduce the restrictions.

The French have been under pressure to readdress its policy on undocumented immigrants that was announced last year which would cut the number of visas granted to nationals from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia because of the North African countries’ refusal to take back their citizens living illegally in France.

France’s relationship fell in 2021 with allegations that President Emmanuel Macron’s phone was on a list of potential targets for surveillance by Morocco using the Pegasus software. Morocco has denied the allegation and said it did not possess Pegasus.

Musings From Abroad

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, vows continued support for Mali

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Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov who is currently in Mali on a diplomatic visit has that Russia will continue helping Mali improve its military capabilities.

Mali’s recent relations with France have prompted Western concern.

Lavrov made the reiteration during a visit to the West African country where militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have waged a decade-long insurgency that has spread to neighbouring countries.

Lavrov has visited a series of African countries recently as Moscow, hit by Western sanctions over its war in Ukraine, seeks to deepen trade ties and strategic partnerships elsewhere.

Mali has continued diplomatic romance with the global south as it has recently solidified relations with Russia and China as its relation with the rest faces tension. The country had broken defence ties with France and other pro-Western states.

Russian media quoted Lavrov as saying that Moscow hoped to start delivering wheat, fertilisers and oil products to Mali soon.

United Nations experts last week called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes by government forces and Russian private military contractor Wagner Group in Mali.

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Musings From Abroad

Russian FM, Sergei Lavrov, sets to visit Mali to ‘strengthen defence ties’

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Relations between West African country, Mali and European power, Russia has continue to gain strength as the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov plans a two-day visit to Mali this week.

The Malian foreign ministry described the visit as a reflection of a shared wish to strengthen defence and security ties.

Mali has continued diplomatic romance with the global south as it has recently solidified relations with Russia and China as its relation with the rest faces tension. The country had broken defence ties with France and other pro-Western states.

The Russian minister will arrive in Bamako on Monday. It is the first time a Russian foreign minister has officially visited the West African nation and reflects Moscow’s focus on extending its reach on the continent while it is at loggerheads with Western powers over its invasion of Ukraine.

A statement by Malian ministry says the visit of the Russian is “high-level visit is in line with the political choice made by the Transitional Government to expand and diversify strategic partnerships.”

Lavrov’s visit shows “the firm will of the Malian and Russian heads of state to give new impetus to the relations of friendship and bilateral cooperation … in priority areas, in particular defence and security,” the ministry said.

Last week, United Nations experts called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes by government forces and Russian private military contractor Wagner Group in Mali.

The West African country is currently engaged in a fight against militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State who have waged a decade-long insurgency that has spread to neighbouring countries.

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