Morocco denies interest in joining BRICS, will not attend South African summit

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City panorama. Casablanca, Morocco. Africa

According to Morocco’s state news agency MAP, the North African nation has not placed a formal bid to join the BRICS association of major emerging economies, countering a previous statement made by South Africa’s foreign minister, Anil Sooklal.

MAP quoted an anonymous diplomatic source, refuting Mr. Sooklal’s claim that Morocco had expressed a desire to become part of the bloc. The news agency stated that South Africa allowed itself to speak about Morocco’s ties with the BRICS without prior consultation.

Currently, BRICS is composed of five significant emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. At the upcoming summit in South Africa, the topic of potential expansion will be on the table. The host nation of the summit, South Africa, reported that over 40 nations have shown an interest in joining the group.

Long-standing tensions between Morocco and South Africa have often centred around the issue of Western Sahara. South Africa has historically supported the Polisario front, which aims to create an independent state in Western Sahara. This stance has created friction, as Morocco views Western Sahara as part of its own territory. This has, in part, led to Morocco’s decision to not attend the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa. MAP added, “South Africa has in fact always shown a primary hostility towards Morocco and has systematically taken negative and dogmatic positions on the Moroccan Sahara issue.”

However, it was also emphasized that Morocco remains committed to a non-divisive approach to multilateralism and maintains healthy relations with the other BRICS nations.

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