King Mohammed VI to Chair a Royal Dinner in Addis Ababa
King Mohammed VI will reportedly chair a royal dinner in the presence of African leaders on Sunday night.
Ahead of their Monday closed doors meeting, being held at the mid-point of the African Union (AU) summit, currently taking place in Addis Ababa. The African leaders have reportedly received invitations to attend the royal dinner.
Monday’s off-the-record deliberation is set to discuss Morocco’s bid to return to the pan-African organization. The election of the successor to outgoing South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the presidency of the Commission of the African Union (AU), will also be discussed.
The royal dinner is considered an important diplomatic move for Morocco in its bid to regain its position in the AU, after Morocco’s late King Hassan II decided to withdraw. The reason for Morocco’s withdrawal was the pan-African organization’s public acceptance of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a full-fledged member state.
Over the past six months, King Mohammed VI has paid visits to several countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Madagascar to solicit support for Morocco’s return to the AU.
Several African countries later publicly encouraged Morocco’s return to the AU. Last November, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Madagascar each expressed their countries’ commitment to supporting Morocco’s return to the AU.
Cape Verde, the Central African Republic and Burundi voiced their support for the return of Morocco to the AU earlier this week, in Addis Ababa.
In early January, during a meeting of the House of Representatives’ committee, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs and Cooperation minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, said that, “40 countries are supporting Morocco’s return to the AU,” noting that “Morocco has reached the needed quorum, which is 28 countries as it is stipulated in the Constitutive Act of the AU.”