Big Day for Morocco as 28th AU Summit Kicks off in Addis Ababa
January 30, 2017
Rabat – The 28th Summit of the African Union (AU) kicked off on Monday in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis
Ababa. Heads of State in attendance have a deadline of two days to reach decisions on two
imperative points; the election of the Commission’s new President and Morocco’s request to rejoin
the union.

African Heads of States are set to meet on Monday at the Addis Adaba Summit, under the theme of
“Harnessing Demographic Dividends Through Investments in Youth.”

The summit will also discuss the means through which peace and security in Africa can be
maintained. Additionally, the topics of financing the AU and the establishment of a continental free
trade area will also be covered.

Debate on Morocco’s return to the AU started early Monday afternoon, as the Heads of State sit down
to discuss what is considered to be this summit’s main subject. While some see this debate as a
mere formality, other parties still have serious doubts around the legality of this return. At the heart of
issues lay tensions surrounding the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a
controversial member of the AU, which has yet to be recognized by many of the AU countries,
including Morocco.

Morocco’s position, however, looks good, at least on paper. The Kingdom, for example, has already
obtained the minimum number of votes required to pass. This should leave Morocco’s return as only
a matter of formality, with regard to Monday afternoon’s debate.

As part of the royal initiative taken by King Mohammed VI to slowly begin the prelude to Morocco’s
return to the AU, the King, currently in Addis Adaba, held one-on-one meetings with several heads of
state during a reception held in honor of the 28th AU Summit, Sunday night. Dignitaries at the dinner
included Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas.

For many Heads of State, Morocco has met all the required conditions to reintegrate into the AU.
Reinstatement will enable Morocco to regain its position among international organizations,
particularly the United Nations, in light of the AU’s efforts in resolving conflicts arising in different
parts of the continent.