Ethiopia: Morocco makes pledge to bolster bilateral ties after AU re-admission

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Morocco has pledged to avail its vast mineral resources to the benefit of African countries and announced it would immediately embark on signing bilateral agreements with members of the African Union (AU) to improve investments and trade.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, who attended the AU Summit, after months of intensive lobbying to be allowed to reenter the continental organization, said his country would benefit Africa through investments and commercialization of its minerals and gas.

“We will sign bilateral and multilateral agreements with African countries,” King Mohammed VI said in his inaugural address to the Summit, a day after a landmark vote on Morocco’s re-admission.

“It is time Africa’s wealth benefited Africans. Africa has potential, given its young leaders who are committed to democracy,” the King told the Summit.

For 33 years since Morocco quit the AU in protest over its recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Morocco’s King has been sending written goodwill messages to African leaders.

But attention was never paid to one of North Africa’s largest economies, which consistently demanded the AU withdrew its recognition of the SADR a precondition for its rejoining.

“We consider Morocco (was) in a situation of diplomatic isolation,” said Mohamed Salek Ould Salek, Foreign Minister of SADR.

“Morocco (was) facing isolation at the UN since it expelled the UN mission in Western Sahara. The European Union (had) also annulled all agreements signed with Morocco on Western Sahara. This made them to ratify the AU constitutive act a few days ago.”

While SADR was one of opponents of Morocco’s readmission to the AU, the foreign minister softened his opposition, saying the admission of Morocco would hasten the search for an end to the conflict there.

SADR officials say the admission binds Morocco to observe peaceful means of resolving the conflict.

“The AU cannot accept a country which still colonises another,” the SADR official said.

Meanwhile, the Morocco King announced Rabat would sign bilateral agreements with Ethiopia and Nigeria for the building of a fertilizer plant to boost agriculture production in the two countries.
-0- PANA AO/MA 31Jan2017

31 january 2017 16:06:37




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