Rabat - Following its request to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Morocco will participate in the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday, June 4 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Rabat – Following its request to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Morocco will participate in the 51st Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday, June 4 in Monrovia, Liberia.
During the summit, the 15-member organization will decide on the admittance of Morocco as a full-fledged member of the regional bloc.
Israel’s Big Plans for Africa
The summit is expected to be attended by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres, as well as high-level delegations from the European Union and the African Union.
The Liberian news outlet Daily Observer reported that Netanyahu will attend the summit as part of Israel’s new foreign policy to increase its presence in Africa.
“He wants to come to make a case here in the presence of leaders of the region for his country,” a diplomatic source told the Daily Observer in Monrovia.
Netanyahu’s participation in the summit will be his second trip to Africa in less than a year after he traveled last July to four East African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
West Africa, Morocco’s Priority
Founded in 1975 following the Treaty of Lagos in Nigeria, ECOWAS is a 15-member regional group, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.
In an interview with Radio French International (RFI) in May, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nasser Bourita said that Morocco has always made West Africa a priority in African politics, in both economics and security. “Morocco is the number one investor in this region. Morocco has participated in many peacekeeping and crisis management operations.”
“Geographically, Morocco is west of Africa. So all the elements are there to support its candidacy,” added Bourita after meeting earlier this week with Burkina Faso’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Alpha Barry, who welcomed Morocco’s bid to join ECOWAS.
Burkina Faso, which is part of the bloc, is ready to examine Morocco’s request to join ECOWAS, said Barry.
“Morocco’s diplomacy [in Africa] attempts to penetrate all of Africa’s geographic and economic blocs,” said El Moussaoui Ajlaoui, a Moroccan professor and researcher at Mohammed VI’s Institute of African Studies in Rabat, in a previous interview with Morocco World News.
“The decision of Morocco to join the ECOWAS goes hand in hand with its return to the AU in late January,” Ajlaoui added.
Next month, Morocco will participate in the 29th Summit of the African Union in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa as full-fledged member for the first time after being absent for 33 years.