Tuesday , February 19 2019

Moroccan king reaches out to African leaders

Moroccan King Mohammed VI (center), waves to the crowd eyed by Senegalese President Macky Sall (right), upon his arrival at Dakar’s Airport at the starts of his state visit, on Nov 6. (AFP)
Moroccan King Mohammed VI (center), waves to the crowd eyed by Senegalese President Macky Sall (right), upon his arrival at Dakar’s Airport at the starts of his state visit, on Nov 6. (AFP)

Moroccan King Mohammed VI offered a conditional olive branch to African leaders Sunday in a speech in Senegal declaring his country wanted to “take back its natural position in Africa”. Morocco is seeking to rejoin the African Union, 32 years after quitting the bloc in protest at its decision to accept Western Sahara as a member.

In a gesture of African solidarity, Mohammed VI delivered an annual speech usually given at home in Dakar to “show the great interest we take in our continent”, while still firmly maintaining the “unshakeable Moroccan identity of the Western Sahara”.

Morocco has occupied the sparsely populated Western Sahara area since 1975 in a move that was not recognised by the international community. Mohammed VI emphasised his nation would “ask no one’s permission to take our legitimate rights,” as “nothing” would change regarding its position on the Western Sahara. (AFP)

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