Rabat - The self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) announced that it will take part in the upcoming 5th EU-AU summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, despite the resistance of the host country, one of Morocco’s closest friends in Africa.
Rabat – The self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) announced that it will take part in the upcoming 5th EU-AU summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, despite the resistance of the host country, one of Morocco’s closest friends in Africa.
Polisario’s allies inside the AU have been pushing for its participation in the conference scheduled for November 29-30.
On Friday Polisario’s press agency said that the AU Commission informed it that the that all AU members will attend the conference.
The news was reported by Radio France Internationale (RFI) and several other Algerian media outlets.
“All the countries that host summits or meetings of the African Union are obliged to invite all member states of the Union “, Ebba Kalondo, the spokesperson of the AU Commission chief was quoted by RFI as saying.
Polisario’s press agency also claimed that Ivory Coast told the AU Commission that all the organization’s members are invited to take part in the joint summit “in accordance with the decision taken by the AU’s Executive Council during its extraordinary session on October 16.”
During the meeting, South Africa, Polisario’s major continental backer after Algeria, exerted pressure on Ivory Coast to send an invitation to SADR, threatening to relocate the conference unless Yamoussoukro yields to the pressure before the end of the ultimatum given to it on October 27.
The source told Morocco World News that convening members agreed to “give some time” to reach “a consensus” before the deadline is over.
On Thursday, a source told MWN that Ivory Coast had not invited the so-called SADR to the meeting. The news was confirmed by Jeune Afrique. An unnamed Ivory Coast official told the French magazine that they informed the AU Commission of their decision.
“We do not recognize this state [SADR] and have informed the chairperson of the [AU] Commission. We are financing this meeting, and we invite who we want,” said the official.
A source from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs that spoke to Morocco World News dismissed these reports as baseless claims, adding that the Polisario’s entity will not attend the summit.
“It might be possible that the AU Commission has sent an invitation to the Polisario, but this invitation has no value, because it is incumbent on the host state to decide whether to invite the separatists or not,” the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
“Ivory Coast does not recognize the so-called SADR and has made it clear that it will not invite it to attend the AU-EU summit,” the same source added.
Other than Morocco and its allies within the AU, France, a major country within the EU, previously expressed its opposition to the participation of the separatists.
France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said earlier in October during a visit to Morocco that his country wishes to see only “sovereign” countries participate in the joint summit.