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FM: Morocco’s Return to AU Mirrors HM the King’s Insightful Vision

Morocco's return to the African Union (AU), its institutional family, is the crowning achievement of a strategic path backed by an insightful royal vision, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, said Wednesday.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Bourita said that Morocco will continue to shoulder its responsibilities within the African Union, as a founding member of the Organization of African Unity, and as a committed, dynamic and active partner who has always defended its causes and concerns in international and regional organizations and fora.

In this context, Bourita recalled HM King Mohammed VI’s speech on August 20, 2016, in which the sovereign said that “Morocco does not view Africa as a market for the sale and promotion of Moroccan products, or as a continent for making quick profit. We see Africa as a forum for joint action, for promoting development in the region, and for serving African citizens.”

Thanks to the prospective vision of HM the King, Morocco has committed during the past two decades to making South-South cooperation a major pillar of its foreign policy, given that this cooperation represents an ambitious and promising project, but also an essential axis of international cooperation, he added.

The Moroccan model has adopted a realistic approach, based on the implementation of creative, successful, effective and open partnerships, drawing on the know-how and the human, material and technical resources needed to support the efforts of African countries to build strong economies, he pointed out.

This vision, he said, was based on structural projects, cooperation and partnership between Morocco and several African countries with the aim of boosting development, economic integration, wealth creation and employment, as part of a dynamic that ensures food security and strengthens human development, noting that Morocco has thus become the largest investor in West Africa and the second largest investor in Africa. 

Successive visits by HM the King to several African countries show Morocco's deep commitment to further consolidating the long-standing friendship relations with these countries, which have always been based on mutual respect and fruitful cooperation, he added.

The Kingdom will contribute to the ongoing discussions on the reforms of the African Union and to the development of a structure aimed at addressing the challenges that the African continent is facing, Bourita said, adding that Morocco supports efforts aimed at making the AU a strong partner of the United Nations.

On the situation in the Maghreb, the minister noted that this region is going through a difficult economic situation due to the lack of political coordination, weak economic integration and poor security cooperation, the exacerbation of the Libyan crisis and security threats.

This situation challenges the parties who remain trapped in an obsolete logic that is only aimed at keeping disputes inherited from another era, such as the one concerning the Moroccan Sahara, he said.

At a time when the international community is promoting a political settlement based on consensus and realism, and while the Moroccan autonomy plan in the Sahara is receiving growing support and is deemed as serious, credible and realistic, it is up to the other parties to this regional conflict to shoulder their responsibilities and be seriously and constructively involved in the political process under the aegis of the United Nations, Bourita pointed out.

Morocco reiterates its willingness to work with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and his new personal envoy, Horst Kohler, with the aim of reaching a final political settlement on the basis of the autonomy plan and within the framework of Moroccan sovereignty and its territorial integrity, the minister said.

The Kingdom is continuing its efforts to revitalize the development model of the southern provinces and to implement a wider regionalization in order to enable the inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara to manage their own affairs in a democratic and stable framework, he added.

The minister also deplored the dramatic situation faced by the people sequestrated in Tindouf camps and called on the international community to exert pressure to make the host country respect its international commitments and enable the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to register populations in the camps in accordance with Security Council resolutions.