Monday, July 4, 2011

French Postpone Official Response to Agadir Crisis

With French President Armand Fallieres and Foreign Minister Justin de Selves on their way to the Netherlands for an official state visit, it is unlikely that France will send an official response to the crisis in Morocco before he returns, though the dissatisfaction in Paris is increasing, according to the New York Tribune.  It is also clear that Germany isn't backing down at present.

The trouble began on July 1 when the German gunboat Panther arrived in the southwest Moroccan port of Agadir.   Official statements from the Kaiser's government have referred to this move as a necessary one to protect German citizens in the city from unrest in the country following similar moves by the French and Spanish to both protect their citizens and to prop up Moroccan Sultan Abdelhafid.  However, according to the Washington Herald, reports from the nearby port of Mogador suggest that the region around Agadir is "calm and tranquil."  Instead French, British, and Russian officials believe that this move is the first step in establishing the port as naval base for the German High Seas Fleet

If successful, this complete a trifecta of recent diplomatic coups by the German Empire including the establishment of naval base on the Mediterranean at Alexandretta in Syrian Turkey and the concession for the Berlin-to-Baghdad Railroad.  A port at Agadir would also help Germany compete in the markets of South America.  The Tribune pointed out in their article today that the voyage from Kiel, Germany to Buenos Aires is only 60 hours longer than trip from New York to the Argentine capital.

The New York Tribune's sources in Berlin seem to confirm this suspicion:
The step taken in Southwestern Morocco is merely to place Germany in a position to negotiate the best advantage in order eventually to obtain her long coveted naval depot and coaling station at Agadir, which has always been a favorite project of the Emperor William.
With the warship Panther already sent to Agadir, German officials now await the French response, though that is unlikely to come before they have consulted with their allies, Great Britain and Russia.  The Germans stated they would not remove the gunship until the French and Spanish expeditions to quell the uprising have been withdrawn.  The move has been viewed favorably in the Spanish press, though Spain has partnered with France in Morocco.  According to the Tribune's sources in London, the Spanish sought German intervention in order to force France to agree to a partition of Morocco among the great powers.

Link: French Protest to be Delayed [The Washington Herald]
Link: Germany Stands Pat; French Bourse Shaky [The New York Tribune]

No comments:

Post a Comment