Hostilities between Egyptian and Moroccan media outlets continued to mount this weekend, after Morocco’s Channel One broadcast a reportage on Thursday denouncing former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster as a “coup,” and enumerating the transitional government’s subsequent rights violations.
Despite warm relations on the official level, the two countries have been sparring with each other through the media since the summer of 2013. In remarks to the state-owned news site Ahram Gate, an unnamed Moroccan diplomat underscored his nation’s support of Egypt and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, despite Thursday’s reportage.
Moroccan Ambassador to Egypt Mohamed al-Eleimy blamed an “unknown entity” for trying to strain Egypt-Morocco relations through the broadcast, according to the privately owned newspaper Youm7.
The segment featured a Moroccan analyst proclaiming that Sisi’s coup aborted Egypt’s democratic transformation and went against the demands of Egyptians.
The video also highlighted the violent dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood protests in August 2013, in which more than 1,000 people were killed, asserting that the military’s intervention in politics was a cause for concern.
The analyst went on to argue that Egypt was far from a return to stability, as the opposition is now radicalized and a security vacuum prevails.
Some commentators have attributed the ongoing media spat to Morocco’s ruling Islamist government, while other analysts in Egypt have blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for orchestrating the hostilities.
In July, after Morocco urged Egypt and other countries to stand by Palestine during Israel’s deadly offensive on Gaza, Egyptian talk show host Amany al-Khayat bashed Morocco during her appearance on the privately owned channel ONtv, saying that its economy depends on prostitution.
Khayat was suspended for her remarks and has now started working for another channel.
Earlier this month, the Brotherhood-affiliated channel Egypt Now mocked Morocco’s king in one of its segments, claiming that he flew to Turkey in extravagant luxury. At that time, the Egyptian Embassy in Morocco asserted that the channel is broadcasting from outside the country and does not represent Egypt’s official or popular stance toward Morocco.