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Morocco latest news: Pro-ISIS group arrested & Rouhani visit

Fri, Jun. 23, 2017
CAIRO – 23 June 2017: Moroccan security forces arrested a four-hardliner terrorist cell on Friday. The Ministry of Interior confiscated electronic equipments and melee weapons, the Interior Ministry statement said.

According to the statement, the security forces found a hand-written letter calling for “Jihad in the Islamic State in the far Maghreb,” in which the four extremists swore allegiance to Islamic State (IS) terrorist group leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi.

The four arrested extremists plotted to carry out terrorist acts against tourists and vital institutions in Essaouira city located on the Atlantic coast.

Iran’s Rouhani to visit Morocco for the Arab-Qatari rift

Iranian diplomatic sources anticipate a future visit by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to Morocco to discuss the Arab crisis between Qatar and Arab nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Moroccan Hespress news website reported on Thursday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarid kicked off on Sunday a tour to Algeria, Mauritania and Tunisia.

“The two-day visit tackled regional developments, including Syria and the Arab-Qatari crisis. Regional developments demand more solidarity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

According to Moroccan media reports, Zarid did not include Morocco within his Maghreb tour because of the Moroccan neutral stance toward the ongoing Arab Gulf crisis.

Macron’s visit to Morocco

French president Emmanuel Macron and his first lady Brigitte Macron paid a visit to Morocco on June 13. The two-day work and friendship visit to the kingdom at the invitation of King Mohammed VI is the second visit of the French President outside the European Union since his election on May 7 to the presidency of the republic.

“This visit to Morocco reflects the kinship of the relations between our two countries, based on a common vision and a desire to pursue our joint interests not only in Morocco but also in the region and in Africa,” said Macron at a press conference on June 14 in Rabat.

The Polisario Front expressed its rage at France’s Macron’s visit to Morocco. The Polisario national secretariat called on the French President to “play a positive role in the Sahara conflict,” a statement said.

The Polisario Front is outlawed in the parts of Western Sahara under Moroccan control, and it is illegal to raise its party flag (often called the Sahrawi flag) there.
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