Rabat, 20 Jumadil Awwal 1434/1 April 2013 (MINA) – The president of the French Republic, François Hollande, and his spouse, Valérie Trierweiler, will pay, on 3 and 4 April, an official visit to Morocco, the ministry of the Royal Household, Protocol and Chancellery announced on Sunday, according to MAP news agency.

The media reported as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), this visit comes at a very crucial juncture for the French Republic which launched on January a military intervention against the extremist militant groups, affiliated with AQIM, to recapture the northern part of Mali.

In a speech delivered by Moroccan head of government, Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, before the OIC Summit in Egypt, King Mohammed VI commended the French “firm reaction which made it possible to check the invasion of Southern Mali and to put an end to it”.

The spokesman of the French foreign minister, Philippe Lalliot at a press briefing carried by MAP news agency expressed France warm thanks to “King Mohammed VI who commended in his speech at the OIC the rapid and efficient intervention of African and French troops against the terrorist threat”.

The state visit is also an opportunity to strengthen the solid friendship bonds between the two brotherly nations and to highlight the long standing and special partnership that marked their relations for decades.

In this occasion, the two Head of States will discuss regional and international issues of common interest, especially the ongoing war on Mali and the threat of security in the Sahel region.

The Sahara conflict is likely to be discussed in relation to the latest developments on the grounds, notably that the Security Council of the United Nations will hold its yearly session for the possibility to extend the Minurso mandate.

It is worth noting that this is not the first meeting between the two Heard of States.

King Mohammed VI held a private visit to France on May 24, 2012, and was the first Head of State welcomed by François Hollande at the presidential palace since the inauguration of the latter on May 15, 2012. (T/P01/P03)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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