Rabat - Morocco has been admitted as full-fledged member of the African Union.
Rabat – Morocco has been admitted as full-fledged member of the African Union.
The decision was made during the 28th summit of the African Union, which is currently taking place in Addis Abebba, Ethiopia.
According to Moroccan TV channel Medi1 TV, there was heated debate among opponents and proponents of Morocco’s request to become member of the AU. Algeria and South Africa were at the forefront of member states who lobbied to prevent Morocco from reuniting with its African family.
The debate took place during the closed-door debate during which the AU member stated addressed Morocco’s application to rejoin pan-African organization.
Morocco reunites with its African family 33 years after its withdrawal form the Organization of African Unity (currently the AU), following the admittance of the self-proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as member of the organization.
The first step towards returning to the African Union was made last July. During the 27th summit of the African Union held in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, King Mohammed VI addressed a letter to the summit, in which he stated Morocco’s intention to rejoin the AU.
“By returning to the African family, Morocco aims to keep up its commitment to Africa and strengthen its involvement in all matters it feels strongly about. Morocco pledges to make constructive contributions to the AU agenda and activities,” the Sovereign had said.
Morocco’s application was officially submitted on September 23.
Morocco retrieved its seat at the African Union thanks to the support of 39 member countries, which voted in favor of its membership.
“Morocco is now a full member of the African Union. There was a very long debate but 39 of our 54 states approved the return of Morocco, even if the Western Sahara question remains,” Senegalese President Macky Sall told journalists.
“We are very pleased to welcome Morocco today within the African Union. The African family is now growing. Morocco is “a major African country that has been able to develop relations of trust with most countries,” he added.
King Mohammed VI started on Friday a visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It is part of the actions undertaken by the Sovereign for the return of the Kingdom of Morocco to the African Union.
During this visit, the King held talks with several African Heads of State and a reception in honor of Heads of State and Government.