Morocco Denies Seeking BRICS Membership, Will Not Attend Summit in South Africa
Morocco has denied making a formal request to join the BRICS grouping and has announced that it will not attend the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa. The state news agency, MAP, cited an unnamed diplomatic source and refuted a statement made by South Africa’s Foreign Minister Anil Sooklal earlier this month, claiming that Morocco was among the nations seeking to join the bloc.
The BRICS grouping currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. However, the potential expansion of the group will be discussed at the summit, with more than 40 countries expressing interest in joining. Despite this, Morocco has made it clear that it will not be attending the summit.
One of the key factors contributing to Morocco’s decision is South Africa’s diplomatic support for the Algeria-backed Polisario front. The Polisario front seeks to establish an independent state in Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco considers its own. This issue has strained relations between Morocco and South Africa.
MAP stated that South Africa has consistently taken negative and dogmatic positions on the Moroccan Sahara issue. It also accused South Africa of showing hostility towards Morocco and making uninformed statements about Morocco’s ties with the BRICS grouping without prior consultation.
Morocco emphasized its commitment to non-divisive multilateralism and highlighted its positive relations with the other BRICS member states. The country believes in fostering strong ties with emerging economies and promoting cooperation on a global scale.
While Morocco will not be attending the BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet African heads of state on the sidelines of the summit to discuss advancing China-Africa cooperation in the new era. This meeting will take place on the last day of the three-day summit.
The summit has set aside a day for events involving more than 70 countries invited as “friends” of the BRICS bloc. This provides an opportunity for countries outside the BRICS grouping to engage in discussions and explore potential collaborations.
In addition to the summit, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria before traveling to Johannesburg for the summit. This visit marks President Xi’s fifth trip to South Africa since he became president in 2013, highlighting the importance of the relationship between China and South Africa.
The BRICS grouping has become a significant platform for emerging economies to collaborate and address global challenges. With its focus on economic development, trade, and investment, the bloc has gained prominence in recent years. The potential expansion of the group reflects its growing influence and the interest of several countries in joining this influential alliance.
While Morocco’s decision not to attend the summit may be disappointing for some, it is essential to respect each country’s sovereignty and their individual decisions regarding international alliances. Morocco’s commitment to non-divisive multilateralism and its desire to maintain positive relations with the other BRICS member states should be acknowledged.
As the BRICS summit approaches, discussions on potential expansion will undoubtedly be a significant topic of interest. The outcome of these discussions will shape the future of the grouping and determine its ability to address global challenges effectively.