Morocco’s Return to AU Gains New Supporters

Morocco’s desire to return to the African Union at the upcoming AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this January, gained more support this week as Botswana and the Comoros Islands officially expressed their backing to the Kingdom’s move.

Botswana, through its Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson, reiterated its support for Morocco’s decision to reintegrate its seat in the AU.

Morocco had quitted the AU predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1984, following the admission of the pseudo-Sahrawi republic “SADR”, self-proclaimed by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

“Only by working together can we minimize the obstacles hindering the pursuit of good opportunities for our peoples,” the Botswanan Minister told the press after a meeting with her Moroccan counterpart, Salaheddine Mezouar.

Pelonomi Venson said her meeting with Mezouar focused on “various aspects of cooperation between Morocco and Botswana, the aim being to bolster this cooperation so as to serve the interests of our respective peoples.”

She said she was convinced that Morocco and Botswana could serve as a “model for the African continent” before she called on the two countries to join their efforts in the fight against poverty and youth unemployment, two major problems challenging the continent.

For his part, Minister of Justice of the Comoro Islands, Fahmi Said Ibrahim, said his country was looking forwards to seeing Morocco returning to the AU.

At the end of a meeting in Rabat on Tuesday with Salaheddine Mezouar, the Minister of State of the Comoros Islands reiterated his country’s “firm and unwavering” support for Morocco’s “just cause” on its Sahara and for its Territorial integrity. Alluding to the Moroccan autonomy initiative for the southern provinces, he expressed backing to a political solution for the settlement of the territorial dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario.

Fahmi Said Ibrahim praised Morocco for the “major role” it plays in Africa as part of South-South cooperation with other African countries.

So far, about forty African countries have expressed backing to Morocco’s return to the AU, and more than two-thirds, i.e. 32 states, have already sent a petition to the African Union presidency announcing their intention to demand the expulsion of the ghostly “SADR” from the Pan-African organization.

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