International Press Underscores Morocco's Return to AU as Diplomatic Victory

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Yusuf Bin Ahmed al-Othaimeen hailed Morocco's return to the African Union (AU) following a 33-year absence, according to a Tuesday statement. Morocco has long considered those areas to fall under its rule.

There were concerns that Morocco would seek the expulsion of the SADR as a condition for returning to the AU.

"And now Morocco is realizing that it has to sit with the Sahrawi Republic", he continued.

Morocco is Africa's third fastest growing reinsurance market and a seat for Rabat on the continental bloc could pave the way and clear the hurdles for its ambitious 4,000-km trans-African gas-pipeline project that starts from Nigeria to Europe.

It has since said it is working on becoming more financially independent.

Leading global papers commented on Morocco's readmission to the African Union after 33 years of absence as a landmark diplomatic victory reflecting the north African Kingdom's growing economic and political clout in the continent.

Following Monday's debate, 39 states approved Morocco's re-entry, although key members including Algeria and South Africa voted against the motion. With Morocco serving as the host country, the King also ensured that Africa's interests on climate change policy were represented at the 22 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in Marrakesh in November 2016, hosting a special meeting for African leaders at the event.

South Africa and other African powers failed to block Morocco from joining the African Union (AU) summit before ending its illegal occupation of the Western Sahara.

Member states chose to leave the question of the disputed territory of Western Sahara for another time, and take Morocco "back in the family", according to AFP.

Salek said the re-admission of Morocco will help pressure the authorities into holding a referendum to "allow the Sahrawi to choose their future". "We need all African countries to be a part of that voice".

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