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Africa

Hollande, Moroccan king end year-long diplomatic freeze

media French President François Hollande and Morocco's King Mohammed VI at the Elysée on Monday Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

France and Morocco say that a year-long diplomatic spat is over following a meeting Monday between French President François Hollande and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The two leaders said they had buried their differences and announced their two countries will be cooperating in a “confident and ambitious” way from now on.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

The two heads of state were speaking in Paris on Monday at the end of the king's 10-day visit to France. 

At their meeting they signed an agreement to reestablish legal and judicial cooperation, drawn up by their justice ministers at the end of last month.

Relations have nosedived since Hollande came to power in 2012.

Morocco ended cooperation with France last year following what Rabat claimed were heavy-handed investigations into a number of high-ranking Moroccan officials by the French judiciary.

In one particular incident, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Salaheddine Mezouar was strip-searched upon his arrival at a French airport.

France and Morocco have little choice but to turn the page, particularly since one of the gunmen in January's Charlie Hedbo attacks in Paris had spent time in Morocco, Aboubakr Jamaï, the Dean of the School of Business and International Relations in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, told RFI.

Morocco was also under pressure to mend fences before April when the UN will decide how to proceed with its Minurso peace-keeping mission in Western Sahara, he added.
 

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