Morocco recalls Ambassador from Nigeria over controversial phone call with President

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The diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Morocco has suffered yet another setback as the North African nation has announced the immediate recall of its ambassador from Abuja.

This is sequel to a statement issued by the Nigerian Foreign ministry last week that President Goodluck Jonathan had an extensive telephone conversation with Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI, and both leaders spoke on matters of mutual interest.

But in a counter statement, the Moroccan Foreign ministry, while acknowledging that there was a request by the Nigerian authorities for a phone conversation between King Mohammed VI and President Goodluck Jonathan, said the request was turned down by the monarch on grounds of the upcoming elections in Nigeria.

As reported by Premium Times, the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said the move was more of a ploy to seek electoral favours than a genuine diplomatic move.

However, the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted the claim of the Moroccans in a statement issued on Monday, March 9.

The ministry said the monarch spoke to President Jonathan from France where he had gone for a visit and debunked that the phone call was intended to seek electoral gains.

“Since the King was in France and not in Morocco, both leaders spoke extensively over the telephone on matters of mutual interest and concern that have nothing to do with the conduct of re-scheduled elections in Nigeria.

“It is therefore preposterous to suggest that Mr President’s telephone call to the Moroccan monarch was intended to confer any electoral advantage on the President,” the statement read.

And in what seemed like a furious response from the Moroccan Foreign ministry on Tuesday, it denied the claim by the Nigerian Foreign ministry and recalled its ambassador from Nigeria for ‘further consultations.’

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