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Moroccan lawmakers plan to review ties with European Parliament

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Moroccan lawmakers are pushing for a review on the country ties European Parliaments as they voted unanimously on its diplomatic relations.

Morocco’s parliament met in the capital Rabat for a joint session and accused the West of meddling after a resolution that urged the kingdom to respect press freedom.

The meeting was in response to the non-binding European text adopted on Thursday.

The parliament in a statement after their session, called the European resolution “an unacceptable attack against the sovereignty, dignity and independence of judicial institutions in the kingdom.”

They said it had “seriously harmed the fundamental trust” between them.

As a result, Morocco’s Parliament “decided to reconsider its relations with the European Parliament and submit them for an overall evaluation,” said Rachid Talbi Alami, speaker of the House of Representatives. He gave no further details.

President of the National Rally of Independents, the biggest party in Morocco’s ruling coalition, Mohammed Ghiat, “Their decisions are not going to intimidate us, and we are not going to change our path and approach.”

European lawmakers in Strasbourg had urged Morocco to “respect freedom of expression and media freedom” and to “guarantee imprisoned journalists… a fair trial.”

Ahmed Touizi, of the Authenticity and Modernity Party, said “Behind the scenes of this decision hides a country which we had thought of as a friend and a solid partner, but the smell of gas has made it lose it.”

Touizi, whose party belongs to the majority coalition, was referring to warming ties between Paris and Algeria, Morocco’s neighbour and rival — and a major exporter of gas to European nations.

Another of member the Istiqlal Party, Abdelmajid Fassi Fihri, “Morocco has had enough of double standards.”

Morocco has long relationship with Europe, 64% of Morocco’s exports went to the EU, and 51% of Morocco’s imports came from the EU. Morocco is the EU’s biggest trade partner among the Southern Neighbourhood countries, with 25% of total EU trade in goods with the region.

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Politics

Regional bloc leaders, wants ceasefire amidst diplomatic tension between Congo DR, Rwanda

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There is a regional call by Eastern heads of state for an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Secretary General of the regional bloc, the East Africa Community, Peter Mathuki, said: “There must be immediate ceasefire by all political parties.

He added: “The withdraw including all foreign armed groups and directed the chief of defence forces of all the partners’ states of East African Community to meet urgently within the next one week and set new timelines for the withdrawal and the commend appropriate deployment matrix in different parts of eastern DRC.”

Mathuki said: “The heads of state called upon parties to respect and implement all the summits decisions and agreed upon themselves that any again violation should be reported immediately and the summit now will take the charge of this process.”

The diplomatic tension between East African neighbours, hit another height last month after Rwandan president Paul Kagame said the country can no longer accept refugees from the DRC.

Also last month, Rwandan forces fired at a fighter jet from the DRC, with the claim that it violated its airspace. The Rwandan government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, said in a statement said his country had to take the measure after the military jet violated its airspace.

The DRC has consistently accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 armed group – whose origins lie in the region’s ethnic fighting – and powerful voices in the West have openly agreed. But Rwanda has denied backing the M23.

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Burkina Faso’s junta leader, Ibrahim Traore, assures France of relations amidst recent tension

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Amidst recent diplomatic tension between Burkina Faso and France, the military leader of the West African country, Ibrahim Traoré has claimed that recent incidences do not suggest the end of relations with France.

Burkina Faso had expelled French ambassadors and expelled French troops earlier in the year. French President, Emmanuel Macron had sought clarifications from military President Ibrahim Traore about reported demands for the departure of French troops from the country.

He said: “We’ve heard everywhere in the press that Wagner is in Ouagadougou. That’s also how we heard about it. I’ve asked some people who say, ‘Oh really? Where are they?’

“We’ve since heard that they’re even in a hotel somewhere, we’re surprised to hear about that.”

“There’s a general state of mind whereby if you deal with Wagner, everyone runs away from you, so it’s something which has been created in order that everyone shuns us – well congratulations, good job.”

The wave of anti-French agitations in the West African sub-region has continued in recent times. Notably French relations with Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali who is also caught up in a serious security crisis.

“The French embassy is here,” He said. “French nationals are here, just as ours is there, so diplomatically nothing has changed.

“This is about an agreement over military presence, and as they have said, our sovereignty is up to us, so that’s what we are expressing through our denunciation of this agreement. So there is no breaking off of diplomatic relations, or hatred of any particular country.”

France’s position in Africa has been a subject of discussion lately amidst recent anti-French agitations across the continent.

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