Morocco Recalls Nigerian Ambassador Over Phone Call Claims

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The tension between the federal government of Nigeria and the Moroccan government has taken another dimension as the latter has recalled its ambassador from Nigeria, accusing the Nigerian government of using King Mohammed VI in an election campaign.

Morocco’s foreign ministry has also issued a statement, denying that King Mohammed VI had spoken by phone to President Goodluck Jonathan, as earlier stated by Nigerian authorities.

Morocco’s foreign ministry denounced Nigeria’s claims describing it “unethical practices”, the statement said.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian government had earlier denied that the king was being used to win over Muslim voters.

The Nigerian ministry of foreign affairs released a statement on Sunday, denying reports that President Jonathan had been snubbed by King Mohammed because he was trying to curry favour with Muslim voters.

“This information is absolutely not correct as the president did in fact speak to the Moroccan monarch… both leaders spoke extensively over the phone on matters of mutual interest and concern,” it said.

However, Morocco’s foreign ministry responded by saying it wanted to state in the “clearest and strongest terms” that “there has never been a phone conversation” between the two leaders.

“The king has actually declined the request of the Nigerian government because it is part of the internal electioneering,” Morocco’s official news agency Map quotedthe statementas saying.

“The kingdom of Morocco expresses its astonishment and denunciation to these unethical practices that are contrary to the spirit of responsibility that must prevail in relations between states.”

As a consequence Morocco’s Abuja ambassador was being recalled immediately for consultations, it said.

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