The “friendship” gesture of Mohamed VI towards Sánchez with the Ramadan breakfast

This content was published on 06 April 2022 – 14:54

Rabat, Apr 6 (EFE).- The invitation of King Mohamed VI of Morocco to the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, for the iftar (break of fast) tomorrow, Thursday, in full celebration of the month of Ramadan, is considered a gesture with a “special and friendly” dimension on the part of the Moroccan monarch towards the Spanish president, when both countries are normalizing their relations.

“It is a very strong gesture of friendship from the king towards Sánchez and towards Spain,” Tajeddine El Husseini, professor of international relations at the Mohamed V University in Rabat, told Efe.

According to the Moroccan analyst, with the invitation to the iftar during the holy month of Muslims, the monarch removes the visit from “a routine and administrative framework” to give it a “more special and familiar” dimension.

Iftar is a special and familiar moment for the Muslim believer, who breaks his fast after almost 14 hours without eating or drinking at a nightly breakfast that brings together family members and close friends.

The monarch’s invitation to Sánchez to the iftar in the middle of Ramadan is a treatment of great symbolism in Moroccan diplomacy that is only carried out with important personalities and strategic partners of the country.

In May 2019, the monarch offered an iftar in honor of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to former US President Donald Trump.

The United States is a strong and strategic partner of the North African country, and Trump recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in December 2020. A recognition that was not revoked by current President Joe Biden.

But it is not the first time that a Spanish president has been invited to an iftar. In July 2013, King Juan Carlos I was invited to the fast-breaking breakfast with the Moroccan royal family at the Dar Essalam palace. It was then the first time that the monarch shared the iftar with a foreign head of state.

A year later, King Felipe VI made his first visit as King of Spain to Morocco, which took place during Ramadan. On that occasion, Mohamed VI offered an iftar in honor of Don Felipe and Doña Letizia.

Sánchez’s trip tomorrow takes place two weeks after the letter he addressed to Mohamed VI, in which he expressed his support for the Moroccan autonomy plan as a solution to the Sahara conflict, was revealed.

That letter and the subsequent telephone conversation between Sánchez and Mohamed VI put an end to a diplomatic crisis that lasted almost a year and paved the way for laying the foundations for a new stage in bilateral relations.

Sánchez’s visit also takes place shortly before the meeting of the Security Council on April 20 aimed at the dispute over the Sahara. EFE

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