France Removes Limitation on Visas for Moroccans
France has removed “all limitations” on obtaining visas for Moroccan citizens, after a major mess up in the republic’s policies, announced French Ambassador to Morocco Christophe Lecourtier in a very forthright interview on Radio 2M.
Moroccans had complained about France’s widespread refusals to grant visas, contributing to the recent rift in diplomatic relations between France and Morocco. Lecourtier suggested, however, that “we cannot measure two countries’ ties based on statistics” to say that the visa issue was a “barrier to their diplomacy.”
Speaking very candidly, the ambassador recognized that it was not worth it to the French republic to mar its relationship with Morocco or Moroccans by virtue of these limitations that had only awakened old sensibilities and “reduced its influence” in the Kingdom.
Returning relations to normal takes time, said the diplomat, not least to get past this “humiliation.” Using statistics to measure the temperature in relations between two countries, or between a population and another country.
Humiliation is “the worst thing in human relations,” whether on a social scale or in international relations, he remarked.
Any Moroccan who meets the required conditions will be granted a visa to enter France, Lecourtier said.
The strain in Moroccan-French relations began in September 2021, when Paris decided to halve the number of visas granted to Moroccans, citing the kingdom’s reluctance to bring back its nationals in an illegal situation in France.
The withdrawal of France’s ambassador to Morocco Hélène Le Gal followed swiftly.
After several months of vacancy, Christophe Lecourtier has been pointed as the new ambassador last December, a sign that reconciliation is on the horizon. He delivered his credentials to King Mohammed VI only recently.