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Morocco not to attend BRICS summit in Johannesburg

August 19, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Flag of Morocco, on 8 May 2019 [Kristin Harvey/Flickr]

Morocco has refrained from submitting an application to join BRICS and will be absent from the upcoming summit in Johannesburg, as confirmed by the state news agency MAP on Saturday, Anadolu reports.

Citing an undisclosed source within the Foreign Ministry, the agency conveyed that there had never been any intention of positively responding to the invitation or participating in the meeting at any level.

The source emphasized that the summit was organized unilaterally by the South African government, stating, “South Africa has consistently exhibited primary antagonism towards the Kingdom and has consistently adopted adverse and entrenched stances concerning the Moroccan Sahara issue.”

The source further remarked, “Pretoria has therefore persistently undertaken actions that are detrimental to Morocco’s paramount interests, both on a national level and within the African Union.”

Critiquing South African diplomacy for its perceived impromptu and unpredictable approach to event organization, the source indicated that South Africa extended invitations to a substantial number of countries without valid justification and without consulting fellow BRICS members.

The source suggested that Pretoria intends to “hijack” the summit for ulterior motives, describing it as a means to serve a concealed agenda.

While Morocco maintains bilateral relations with the other BRICS member countries and remains committed to multilateralism, it has not officially pursued membership. This stance was affirmed by the ministry source.

The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the host of the upcoming meeting scheduled for August 22-24. The potential expansion of the group is slated for discussion during the summit, with South Africa noting that numerous nations have expressed interest in joining.

The strained relations between South Africa and Morocco, attributed to South Africa’s support for the Polisario front’s quest for an independent state in Western Sahara—a territory that Morocco regards as its own—have influenced the dynamics between the two nations.

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