Morocco and Germany have agreed to overcome “misunderstandings” and renew “close amicable relations”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Rabat: Morocco and Germany have agreed to overcome “misunderstandings” and renew “close amicable relations” after a year-long diplomatic freeze, including over the issue of Western Sahara.

The announcement followed a video conference between Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on the eve of a summit in Brussels between the European Union and the African Union.

The pair agreed to “build on the special quality of bilateral relations in all spheres in the spirit of... mutual respect”, a joint statement said.

“They stressed the considerable interest of both sides in close amicable relations,” it added, and “agreed to enter into a new dialogue with a view to overcoming the misunderstandings that have arisen”.

Baerbock “welcomed the return of His Majesty’s ambassador to Berlin” and said a new German ambassador would arrive in Rabat “shortly” - the first concrete signs of the thaw.

Rabat in March last year said it was suspending contacts with the German embassy in the North African kingdom over “deep misunderstandings” on “issues fundamental for Morocco”.

Then in May it announced the recall of its ambassador for consultations and accused Germany of unspecified “hostile acts”.

The post of German envoy to Morocco has since been vacant.

Germany is one of Morocco’s main economic and trade partners.

The Morocco-Germany diplomatic rift began to ease in December when Rabat welcomed “positive announcements and constructive positions” from the new government in Berlin.

Germany’s foreign ministry had said Morocco “plays an important role in the stability and sustainable development of the region” and that a proposal by Rabat of autonomy for Western Sahara was an “important contribution” to a settlement.

Last month, Rabat said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had invited Morocco’s King Mohammed VI for a state visit to “seal a new partnership between the two countries”.