Monday, January 5, 2015

Egypt and Morocco : The Unspoken crisis

Things between Egypt and Morocco are not well. They can not be well. The State TV in Morocco described what happened in Egypt in June 2013 as a coup , oh yes they said the “C” word officially in the State TV. It did not stop at here. They described Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the Coup’s leader who won fake elections. This is the first time an official Arab state TV says something like that.
Morocco’s State TV describes El-Sisi as a coup leader
Soon this video went viral in Egypt. The Moroccan ambassador in Egypt claimed in media statements that “some anonymous person was standing behind this act in order to disturb the relation between Egypt and Morocco”. Well I think the ambassador should re-check his statement because this week the Moroccan State TV aired a news report attack El-Sisi and his regime defending the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Jazeera.
Updated “11:41 AM CLT” : Moroccan newspapers say that the Moroccan ambassador in Cairo Saad El-Almy returned back to his country on Tuesday. There has been no official statement regarding what is happening from both countries.  There has been no confirmation from Cairo regarding the Moroccan ambassador. 
Morocco’s State TV attacks El-Sisi and defends Al-Jazeera and MB
Of course the Pro-Military Egyptian journalists like Mostafa Bakry are accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of standing behind those reports as usual and as expected.
On Sunday Turkish Andalou News agency claimed that Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry was going to visit Morocco later this month in an attempt to end this crisis between the two countries. Yes there is something going on and amazingly it is ignored in mainstream media.
Things are quieter in Cairo than in Rabat as it seems.
 Now why did Moroccan State media decide to slam El-Sisi and his regime like that in an unprecedented move ??
When I saw the first video report of the Moroccan State TV , I thought it was more of a Moroccan fire back at the stupid insults against Morocco in Egyptian media. If you have forgotten the insulting statements of Pro-Military TV host Amany El-Khayat against Morocco and its king back in summer , I would like you to know that the past week the Moroccans were furious after another prominent Egyptian TV host Wafaa El-Kilany insulted Morocco. Yes I thought El-Kilany made the Moroccans attack El-Sisi at first
From two weeks ago , the famous entertainment TV host asked her guest Egyptian actress Somaya El-Khashab on MBC Misr if she was concerned that her rivals from other stars used to go to Morocco or Africa “as if Africa is one country” in order to visit the wizards there and put spells on her !!!!! { I just .. can’t understand what kind question is that !!}
Are you concerned with spells ?
The Moroccans considered this as an insult to Morocco.
The MBC TV host defended herself and insisted that she did not mean any insult to Morocco or the Moroccans.
“ Thanks for all the supporters and fans. Regarding the Moroccan brothers who misunderstood what I said , I would like to clarify that I respect Morocco and it was unintentional to insult it ever”
Nevertheless it seems that many Moroccans online are convinced with that statement issued by El-Kilany. Now we got this active hashtag from Morocco “To Wafaa El-Kilany Morocco is a red line”.
But this was not the only insult. It seems that the King of Morocco was insulted himself for spending a week in Turkey and meeting with Erdogan !! “ The man is free to spend his time where ever he likes for God’s sake !!”
This was like the last straw and there was that media war against Egypt and Egyptian media in Moroccan media. Nevertheless we are speaking about official state media in the Arab world , it definitely had to do with more stupid empty TV chitchat’s talk.
Blogger Gemyhood , who is currently living in Morocco explained to us what is going on there in Rabat which most people ignore in Cairo unfortunately.  
It turns out Egyptian media was highlighting positively recently the activities of Polisario Front.
Oh Yes already Al-Masry Al Youm daily published an interview with the secretary general of the militant Separatist Front Mohamed Abdel Aziz last July where he said that the Front was optimistic regarding the new leadership in Cairo aka El-Sisi.
It seems that Al-Masry Al-Youm was not alone in highlighting the activities of the Separatist Front. According to Moroccan journalist Youssef Outmane it was not only Al-Masry Al-Youm and other newspapers and magazines jumped on board like Rosa El-Youssef. Interestingly Rosa Al-Youssef , which is a state-owned Press institution unlike Privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm published an interview with Abdel Aziz also last July at the same time. I would like to hint that no one reads Rosa Al-Youssef daily or magazine anymore in Egypt.
Going back to the Moroccan press , I found out that a group of Egyptian journalists visited the Polisario camps in Tinduof province , Algeria last July. The Moroccans considered that media visit was a message from the Egyptian regime to the Islamist government in Rabat.
Already all that is brought back by the Moroccans who could not forget that video of an Egyptian army officer in MINURSO giving revolutionary advice to the Polisario Front fighters on how to rebel in April 2011.I do not have doubt that this office surely paid a price for this video.
MINURSO Egyptian officers speak to Polisario Front members.
They also remembered how former official spokesperson of Egyptian armed forces Ahmed Mohamed Ali used a map for the Middle East recognizing the Western Sahara as an independent State in his lecture to Egyptian military correspondents about Arab Spring “and of course the Fourth Generation warfare” in January 2013. Oh yes January 2013 and amazingly the Moroccan press found out that photo incriminating him and creating a diplomatic crisis in July 2013 !! Interestingly that map or rather photo showing that map was removed from the Spox’ official FB page from than a year.

Updated :

Okay it seems recently that the Moroccans are insulted by the Statements of an Egyptian official in the ministry of Culture who compared the “Moroccan occupation” of the Sahara to the “Israeli occupation”. That alleged official is called Khaled Shoiab , an alleged undersecretary in the ministry of culture.
I searched for those statements and found nothing. Already the only Hamed Khaled Shoiab I found to be working in the ministry of culture in Egypt is Marsa Matrouh based poet and researcher. Shoiab is working as the head of culture directorate in Marsa Matrouh governorate.
I have not found for him online so far any statements related to Western Sahara.
El-Sisi and Mohamed IV

Also it seems that earlier this week a new Egyptian book was released about the Western Sahara taking the Polisario’s Side. This book is called “ Western Sahara by Egyptian eyes” and its launch was in Algiers. This 168-pages book is actually a collection of reports and interviews made by the Egyptian journalists who visited Tinduof last July .

This book is making the Moroccans really angry. 

Now this Polariso crisis is caused by the new close relations between Egypt and Morocco’s number one nemesis in North Africa : Algeria. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is now playing BBF with Algeria since swearing in , of course not for the sake of the Arab nation but for the sake for two specific things : Gas and Libya.
Egypt is in shortage of gas and Algeria is helping us. Also both Egypt and Algeria share borders with Libya. Algeria is the number one supporter to the Western Desert Republic. 
Now this cozy relation between the two countries is making Morocco angry. Historically in that old nasty fight between the two countries Egypt has been taking Algeria’s side. During the Sand war between the two countries in 1960s Nasser took Algeria’s side and sent military troops there ; this is a historical fact most Egyptians ignore. Already ousted president Mubarak was captured by Moroccan forces during that war. Anyhow the Moroccan Egyptian relations began to mend during Sadat’s era and the role played by King Hassan in the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. Mubarak kept Sadat legacy but now Libya and gas made El-Sisi shift back to Algeria.
Now It seems to me that Algerian press is playing a dirty game with Moroccan press over the Western desert fight using Egypt. Spending the last 24 hours browsing in the archives of news websites from both countries and I am astonished at the amount of rumors about Egypt in Algerian press.  
Amazingly the Egyptians are not there , yes they do not know anything about this jazz except from the internet. Now I only have to ask couple of questions : Can not we have balanced relations between us and both countries based on our common interest and national security !? Can not Egypt act for as a leading force in the Arab world and Africa by taking strong neutral position especially we are Weak now !? Can our media wake up and stop that vulgar racist attitude towards other countries and cultures !? 

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