Morocco: Rabat to send ambassador to Pretoria 12 years after pull-out
Rabat is dispatching a new ambassador to Pretoria, South Africa as King Mohamed VI announced the North Africa country’s return to the Africa Union (AU). Morocco recalled its envoy in 2004 after Pretoria officially recognized Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
The South African government led by the African National Congress (ANC) is a staunch ally of SADR led by the Front Polisario.
Pretoria in 2004 at the time of President Thabo Mbeki’s government angered Rabat by tying ties with Western Sahara territory.
King Mohamed VI in February appointed Morocco’s envoy in Chili; Abdelkader Chaoui as his official envoy in Pretoria but the latter kindly turned down the offer citing health issue, huffpostmaghreb.com reports.
Pretoria has not changed its position on the issue but the latest Moroccan move comes as Rabat announces its formal return in the African Union, thirty two years after quitting the organisation after then continental organisation the Organisation of African Unity (OUA) recognised SADR.
King Mohamed VI in a strong message addressed to the AU sent during last week meeting of the organisation in Kigali, Rwanda also called on the African continental body to correct the wrong it did 32 years ago.
Relations between Rabat and Pretoria had been friendly until 2004. South Africa’s forever icon Nelson Mandela in his presidential inauguration speech in 1994 praised Morocco for its moral and logistical support for the ANC in the fight against Apartheid.