Morocco Summons Dutch Ambassador to Protest FM’s Remarks

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on Friday summoned the Dutch Ambassador to Rabat to protest against the remarks made the previous day by Foreign Minister Stef Blok, deemed as a direct interference in Morocco’s internal affairs.

Bourita made it clear to the Dutch ambassador that Morocco “rejects categorically and vigorously the Dutch Foreign Minister’s statement of Thursday (Sept. 5). Morocco denounces “a direct interference by the Dutch Foreign Minister in the country’s internal affairs and a marked lack of respect for Moroccan justice, in blatant contradiction with the basic rules of respect for courts’ rulings, and what is more when it is question of courts of a foreign country,” Bourita told the ambassador of the Netherlands.

For Morocco, the remarks contain “inappropriate language, erroneous assessments of facts and shocking and inappropriate positions”.

Nasser Bourita reminded the Dutch diplomat that he had already expressed, in particular last April, “in the clearest and firmest way, to his Dutch counterpart, the categorical rejection by Morocco of any interference in its internal affairs”.

Bourita had then told the head of the Dutch diplomacy that the Al Hoceima case was not a diplomatic affair but was, indeed, a question of Moroccan sovereignty.

Yet, the Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok again on Thursday referred to the protest movement known as Hirak in Morocco, the arrests and sentences handed down to Hirak activists in June, criticizing the verdicts and the detention conditions of the defendants. He went as far as requesting a meeting of the “(Dutch) Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs to draft a written report on the developments” of this case.

Stef Blok also revealed that members of the Dutch Embassy in Rabat had attended the various trials of Al Hoceima detainees and got in touch with some of the defendants’ lawyers.

To mark further Morocco’s discontent, Bourita told the Dutch ambassador that the Kingdom has cancelled the meeting that was to take place with the Netherlands at the end of September in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

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