“We welcome Morocco’s request to reintegrate the African Union,” said Assistant Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, who was last week in Morocco, part of a Maghreb tour that also included Tunisia and Algeria.
In a first response by the US administration to Morocco’s move to get its seat back in the African Union, the Assistant secretary of State said “this is a very important step.”
“The fact that Morocco’s voice is heard within the African Union council is a very good thing and the model represented by Morocco, a strategic partner of the United States within this grouping, is also a “very good thing,” said Tony Blinken in a statement to the media in Rabat on Friday.
The US official said he was confident that Washington’s partnership with Rabat in Africa will be further strengthened in matters of security and economy.
Besides the majority of African States that welcomed Morocco’s move to reintegrate the pan-African organization, France also hailed the Kingdom’s return to the AU, saying this decision constitutes an “important contribution to the growing integration of the African continent” and that France encourages such integration.
“A united Africa is indeed a factor of peace, stability and development for the continent and the rest of the world,” said Spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, Romain Nadal, at a press briefing.
Last Sunday, July 17, Morocco officially requested to regain the African Union after 32 years of an empty seat policy within the pan-African organization.
“Today, Morocco wishes resolutely and unequivocally to regain its place within its institutional family and to continue to live up to its responsibilities, with even more resolve and enthusiasm,” King Mohammed VI said in a message addressed to the 27th summit of the African Union that was held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
“Our friends have long been asking us to return among them so that Morocco may take its natural place within its institutional family. That time has now come,” the Sovereign underlined in his message.
The following day, 28 AU member states addressed to the AU Chairmanship a motion welcoming Morocco’s decision and pledging “to work so that this legitimate return be effective as soon as possible.”
The 28 signatories of the motion also promised “to act for the immediate suspension of the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” from the activities of the African Union and all its bodies, to enable the AU to play a constructive role and contribute positively to UN efforts for a final settlement to the regional dispute over the Sahara.”
Several African countries, which did not sign the motion, later on voiced backing to Morocco’s return to the African fold. These include Egypt, Madagascar, and Rwanda.
Likewise, many NGOs, including the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO,) hailed Morocco’s decision to reintegrate the AU as “smart” and “wise” and deemed this return as natural and logical, given the Kingdom’s leadership role in the continent.