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Head of Mauritania’s Ruling Party Describes King Mohammed VI Absence from the AU Summit as ‘Boycott’

Head of Mauritania's Ruling Party Describes King Mohammed VI Absence from the AU Summit as ‘Boycott’
Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham, head of the Union for the Republic party

By Tarek Bazza

Rabat – On the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit hosted in Nouakchott earlier this month, Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham, head of the Union for the Republic party, criticized the absence of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI from the summit.

It seems like the diplomatic crisis is still ongoing between Morocco and Mauritania although they appointed ambassadors in both countries. , Maham published a tweet in Arabic on July 6, in which he implicitly criticized Morocco’s King for not attending the AU summit.

Maham, head of Mauritania’s ruling party, considered King Mohammed VI’s absence as a boycott. He also said that the Mauritania’s presence at the international level creates “disturbance” to the King.

“We understand that some brothers are boycotting us without a good, or at least, a declared reason. However, we will not accept for a moment that our presence in the international arena and our existence as a sovereign and independent state in its decision is bothering them.”

“They have to realize that we are part of the solution and we are not a party to the conflict, and that the policy of arrogance towards brothers will never achieve any solution,” he added.

Prior to that, the fact that the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was not present at the reception of Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, was seen as a “negative message” to the Kingdom of Morocco.

On the other hand, the Mauritanian president did welcome the Polisario Front’s leader, Ibrahim Ghali, when he arrived at Nouakchott International Airport to participate in the AU summit. In addition to a reception, Ghali was escorted to his residence. Aziz’s lack of a reception could be interpreted as a response from the Mauritanian president to the fact that King’s VI did not attend himself the AU summit.

However, the Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed denied in a statement to the media that the guests’ receptions at the AU summit do not carry any negative messages towards any country. He explained that it is normal that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz did not receive all the guests of the summit at Nouakchott International Airport. As for the Mauritania-Morocco relationship, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said it is improving, specifically referring to the recent appointment of ambassadors in both countries.

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