King Mohammed VI to attend AU summit

King Mohammed VI will travel to Addis Ababa to attend the African Union summit on January 30 to make the case for Morocco’s strong determination to regain its natural place within Africa’s institutional family.

The announcement was made by Morocco’s designated Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, in a statement to the Press.

Benkirane also said that an emergency meeting would be held on Friday 13 to speed up legal measures for the approval by the Parliament of the Constitutive act of the African union and its additional protocol, which were adopted during a ministerial council chaired by the King last Tuesday.

Benkirane said that the supreme interests of the nation dictate that all political stakeholders overcome the current deadlock regarding majority formation within the Parliament and that Morocco’s African endeavor imposes the need to adopt the texts relating to its membership in the African Union.

In this respect, he said that the leaders of the political parties represented in the Parliament would discuss in the meeting measures to reach a concord concerning the adoption of the aforementioned texts.

Morocco withdrew from the predecessor of the AU, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984, on grounds of the biased decision of the organization. The OAU had actually violated neutrality in the Sahara conflict by admitting the Algeria-based separatist entity, SADR, as a full-fledged member. Since then Morocco has been conditioning its return to the pan-African body on the withdrawal of the Polisario membership and the respect of the UN-brokered political process to settle the Sahara issue.

Morocco’s return to the African institutional family hinges on a simple majority vote by the member countries. So far, 39 countries, making more than the majority of the 54 African Union member states, have expressed support for Morocco’s return.

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