Mourners around the world are taking a moment of silence to pay tribute to former French President Jacques Chirac, who passed away on September 29, 2019, at the age of 86. In attendance at his funeral held at the Saint Sulpice Church in Paris, France was Morocco’s Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan. The prince is the eldest child of King Mohammed VI and heir to the throne at the Royal Palace, with a primary and official residence at the Dar al-Makhzen in Rabat.
In a rare statement from the Moroccan palace, the kingdom reported that the 56-year-old King Mohammed VI was still recovering from a viral lung infection and doctors advised him to rest; the king underwent heart surgery in 2018. In addition to sending the prince, his majesty expressed heartfelt condolences through a cable message delivered to current French President Emmanuel Macron.
“The Kingdom of Morocco will cherish the memory of a great friend who actively contributed to the strengthening of the relations of friendship between our two countries by establishing an exceptional partnership. This unique partnership is the reference of our cooperation”, said King Mohammed. He also extended his sincere regrets to family members Bernadette Chirac and Claude Chirac.
Prince Moulay also spoke on behalf of the Royal Palace during the ceremonial luncheon at Elysée Palace hosted by President Emmanuel Macron. He was accompanied by Morocco’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, who is originally from Taounate, a Rif Mountain town.
Also present at the ceremony were 30 world leaders, including, former US president Bill Clinton; Russian President Vladimir Putin; King Abdullah II of Jordan; Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani; Prime Minister of Lebanon; German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and many African heads of state.
The former president Chirac was known for strong beliefs and statements that “war is always the worst of all solutions.” He is also remembered as Frace’s first president to acknowledge the countries role in the Holocaust.