On Tuesday, 2 May, the President of France, François Hollande met Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. Those in the French media have said that the President and King “are good friends” and enjoy a close friendship. The monarch and leader had lunch at Élysée Palace. Their last meeting was in November of last year at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference.
Also at the luncheon were members of both governments, members of civil society and friends of both countries. A statement issued by The Royal Office said the reason for the visit was to continue the strong relationship between their countries “in a symbol of the strong and multifaceted ties between the two countries.”
The two heads of state expressed their mutual esteem and respect; the statement said that this was the “basis of the renewal of French-Moroccan partnerships in security, sustainable development, culture, and education,” as quoted in the Morocco World News.
The statement continued with the two reaffirming and expressing their confidence and vitality of their partnership which continues to maintain a “strategic scope for the two countries bilaterally and also at the level of Euro-Mediterranean and African development.”
President Hollande congratulated Morocco’s return to the African Union and welcomed the country’s strong measures for developing the continent. While the King thanked President Hollande for his “personal commitment to French-Moroccan friendship and assured him of Morocco’s support in strengthening and deepening relations between the two countries.”
Recently, the King of Morocco has been vacationing in Cuba and Miami, Florida. The former destination raised some eyebrows. His trip to France comes during a presidential race between the independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron, and far-right leader, Marine Le Pen. President Hollande, one of the least popular French presidents in history, did not run for another term; by November 2016, his approval rating was only at 4%. So in essence, this luncheon between the two was a farewell meeting as the President will be out of office soon; France will vote on Sunday for their new leader.