alexa Foreign CS criticises Morocco over misguided behaviour in forum - Daily Nation

Foreign CS criticises Morocco over misguided behaviour in forum

Monday November 28 2016

Amina Mohamed

Foreign Affairs and International Trade CS Amina Mohamed speaks to the Nation on August 25, 2016 regarding the Ticad conference. She has criticised Morocco for delaying the success of a conflict resolution meeting. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Kenya's Foreign Affairs cabinet secretary has faulted Morocco for opposing the attendance of a territorial resolution meeting by Polisario Front.

The forum had been organised to bring together two regions troubled with terrorism, climate change, illegal migrations and conflict.

Ms Amina Mohamed commended the delegation from the disputed Western Sahara territory for turning up for the meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Wednesday.

She said it is a sign of “mutual respect” between the African Union members and the League of Arab States.

Ms Mohamed represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in the meeting meant to foster relations between African and Arab nations.

“The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) has a rightful seat just like any other member of the African Union in all its partnerships.

“This is in accordance with the decisions of the AU Summit. This principled position is non-negotiable and must be respected by all our partners,” she told an audience of heads of state and government attending the 4th Africa-Arab Summit.

Polisario Front controls the Western Saharan territory, which Morocco claims ownership of.

Morocco opposed the presence of the emblem of Sahrawi in the room.

“Morocco has made great efforts with African countries to resolve this problem, but some countries have prevented it,” Anis Birou, the Moroccan Minister for Diaspora and Immigration Services, told local news agency MAP.

RECOGNITION

The conference was attended by Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain.

The CS argued that the group was attending as members of African Union, formerly Organisation of African Union, which SADR joined in 1982.

Morocco later withdrew its membership in 1984 following the acceptance of SADR.

"Our proud organisation, the African Union, operates on the basis of established rules, regulations and procedures that clearly define who we are, what we do and how we do it.

"Interactions amongst ourselves and with others are informed by this understanding," Ms Mohamed said.

Kenya formally established diplomatic ties with Sahrawi in 2005 and the territory opened its embassy in Nairobi the following year.

However, then-President Mwai Kibaki suspended the ties in 2008, suspected to be due to pressure from Morocco which had recalled its ambassador to Nairobi.

But President Uhuru Kenyatta reversed the decision in December 2013 by recognising SADR.

Sahrawi now has a full embassy in Nairobi alongside that of Morocco.