Morocco has ruled out any plan to return to the African Union (AU) until the continental body withdraws its 1984 recognition for the independence of Western Sahara. According to Morocco’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mbarka Bouaida, as long as the AU position remains unchanged on the matter, the country will also be steadfast not to return to the organisation.
“The reasons which led to Morocco’s departure are still there and intact, notably the recognition extended to Polisario Front, so there is no way for the country to consider returning to AU as an organisation,” Mrs Bouaida said in an interview with PANA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Friday.
She said the Moroccan government viewed the AU's recognition of Western Sahara as a “clear violation” of international law since it is not a sovereign state, neither does it meet the requisites for enjoying international recognition.
Mrs. Bouaida, who is leading the delegation of Morocco to the ongoing AU Summit in Addis Ababa, made it clear that the delegation did not come to attend the summit but to seize the opportunity offered by the presence of many African countries to make bilateral contacts.
“We are not here to attend the summit, but to engage a bilateral agenda, in order to be able to meet the largest number possible of brotherly and friendly countries,” she said.
She said Morocco has a regional agenda with Africa as its top priority, hence the presence of a (Moroccan) delegation in Addis Ababa during an AU summit “will allow us to confirm this Africa priority and pass on our African voice”.
On the dispute between Morocco and Algeria over the Western Sahara, she explained that this issue is being handled by the UN, which has recommended that the two parties reach a “mutually acceptable” compromise.
“We have already submitted our proposal, and are awaiting the other side to respond and that has not yet happened,” Mrs. Bouaida.