India today welcomed the return of Morocco to the African Union (AU), saying it will strengthen Africa’s unity.
“India congratulates Morocco on its return to the African Union with an overwhelming majority. India and Africa have a historic relationship and this has grown into a sustainable partnership. India wholeheartedly welcomes Morocco’s return to AU, which has strengthened Africa’s Unity,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Morocco had quit the predecessor of the AU, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), in 1984, in protest against the body recognising the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a full memAfrican Union ber.
SADR is a partially recognised state that controls a thin strip of area in the Western Sahara region and claims sovereignty over its entire territory. Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, is a region on North Africa’s Atlantic coast bordering Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania.
Notably, India had invited Morocco for India-Africa Summit in 2015 even though it was not member of the AU.