King Mohammed VI of Morocco has appointed Samira Sitail as the country’s Ambassador to France, marking a significant step in improving diplomatic relations with its European neighbor.
Sitail, 59, is a former journalist and former director of information at the Moroccan broadcasting channel 2M, whose appointment to the high office is a demonstration of the King’s commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women in leadership positions.
Her appointment comes a month after media appearances went viral of her rebuking of French claims targeting relief efforts Morocco had deployed to address the September 8 devastating earthquake.
Samira Sitail, a highly respected and accomplished journalist, and her appointment as Ambassador to France not only highlights her remarkable expertise in international relations but also serves as an inspiration to women across the country.
But her appointment of a new ambassador to France comes on the heels of simmering diplomatic tensions between Rabat and Paris.
She was in the news when some French news outlets questioned Morocco’s response to the tragic tremor and accused the kingdom of rejecting France’s offer to assist in rescue and relief efforts.
In response, Sitail denounced what she described as an attempt by the French political elite to incite Moroccans to revolt against their government and the monarchy.
As if their misleading and paternalistic attitude to Morocco’s relief efforts was not enough, she argued, France sought to come and tell Moroccans “‘We want to help you, but your government won’t let us.’ I consider this extremely serious, and it needs to be corrected.”
Morocco terminated Mohamed Benchaaboun’s duties as ambassador to France in February, 2023.
The termination was the culmination of simmering tensions between Rabat and Paris on a large range of strategic issues, with the latest at the time of the Moroccan decision being the perception that France was the orchestrator of a hostile resolution in which the European Parliament accused Morocco of intimidating and harassing journalists and activists.
As Morocco’s Ambassador to France, Sitail will play a vital role in fostering closer collaboration in various domains, including politics, economy, culture, and education. Her extensive experience in diplomacy, combined with her deep understanding of Moroccan-French relations, will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing cooperation and promoting mutual understanding between the two nations.