Moroccan FM, parliament speaker refuse Rivlin meetings

Knesset speaker surprised to learn of cancellations; officials claim neither speaker would hold bilateral meetings.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Moroccan foreign minister Taieb Fassi-Firhi and parliament speaker Abdul-Wahid Al-Radhi canceled meetings that were set for Thursday with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who is in the country for an international parliamentary conference.
Rivlin was surprised when he found out that the meetings were canceled upon his arrival at the conference in which he is a featured speaker.
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The official reason given for the cancellation was that neither the foreign minister nor the parliamentary speaker would hold bilateral meetings at the conference.
But a Moroccan official told one of the members of Rivlin's delegation that the real reason was that there was still anger in the country over the leaking of a meeting that had been set for King Mohammad VI with President Shimon Peres earlier this month.
In his speech at the conference Thursday night, Rivlin called upon the members of parliaments in Arab countries to accept Israel as part and parcel of the Middle East and begin to cooperate with the Jewish state in order to improve the lives of all the peoples in the region.
Earlier Thurday, Rivlin met in Paris with his French counterpart Gerard Larcher and told him settlements are not an obstacle to peace.