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Morocco's king hails country's return to African Union

Morocco's King Mohammed VI hailed on Tuesday his country's official return to the African Union after 33 years of absence.

"I am finally home" King Mohammed VI said in a speech at the 28th AU summit in Addis Ababa. "It is a beautiful day when one returns home after too long an absence", he added.

The King explained that this return would strengthen cooperation, brotherhood and friendship between Morocco and African countries, noting that he had conducted 46 visits to 25 African countries which is "a sign of strengthening Moroccan-Africa relations".

The King has also stressed that enhanced relations between Morocco and African countries must serve the interests of the continent, saying that Morocco will be a pillar of economic growth on the continent, and will not give up its leadership role.

Morocco's return came a day after 39 of the AU's 54 member states agreed to allow it back into the bloc.

Morocco quit the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1984 after the bloc admitted the Western Sahara as a separate member, which Morocco considers an integral part of its territory.

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