Morocco not to attend BRICS summit in Johannesburg

Morocco not to attend BRICS summit in Johannesburg

Decision taken due to South Africa’s ‘primary hostility’ towards Rabat, state media quotes source as saying

By Merve Berker

ANKARA (AA) – Morocco has not applied to join BRICS and will not attend its forthcoming summit in Johannesburg, state news agency MAP said on Saturday.

Quoting an unnamed source at the Foreign Ministry, the agency said there "has never been any question of responding positively to the invitation" or of "taking part in this meeting at any level whatsoever."

"It's a meeting organized on the basis of a unilateral initiative by the South African government," the source said, adding that "South Africa has always shown a primary hostility towards the Kingdom, and has systematically taken negative and dogmatic positions on the question of the Moroccan Sahara."

"Pretoria has thus multiplied, both nationally and within the African Union, its notoriously malicious actions against Morocco's higher interests," MAP quoted the source as saying.

Criticizing that “South African diplomacy is known for its light, improvised and unpredictable management when it comes to organizing this kind of event,” the source said South Africa has invited large number of countries for no proper reason by not consulting with other BRICS members.

Pretoria wants to “hijack” the summit “to serve a hidden agenda,” it added.

Morocco maintains bilateral relations with rest of the BRICS members, remains committed to multilateralism, but has never formally applied for membership, the ministry source said.​​​​​​​

The group is made of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which is hosting the meeting on Aug. 22-24. Its potential expansion is set to be discussed at the summit and South Africa says many countries have expressed interest in joining.

South Africa's support for the Polisario front, which seeks to establish an independent state in Western Sahara, a territory Morocco considers as its own, has affected relations between the two countries.​​​​​​​

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