Africa

King Mohammed VI Cancels Participation in ECOWAS Summit Due to Netanyahu’s Presence

Rabat - King Mohammed VI has cancelled his trip to Liberia where he has scheduled to participate in the 51st summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) due to take place in Monrovia on June 4th, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Thursday evening.

King Mohammed VI had planned to pay a visit to Monrovia on June 3-4 to attend the 51st ECOWAS Summit, which was expected to examine Morocco’s request to join this regional grouping as a full member, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Thursday.

During this Royal Visit, a meeting with the President of Liberia, talks with ECOWAS Heads of State and a speech to the Organization's Summit were scheduled, the ministry added.

However, over the last few days, key ECOWAS member States have decided to reduce their level of representation at the Summit due to their disagreement with the invitation handed to the Israeli Prime Minister, the statement said, noting that other Member States also expressed their astonishment at this invitation.

“HM the King wants his first presence at an ECOWAS summit not to take place in a context of tension and controversy, and wants to avoid any confusion”, the statement concluded.

During the summit, members of ECOWAS will decide on the admittance of Morocco as a full-fledged member of the regional bloc.

Last February, Morocco submitted a formal request to join ECOWAS. While the request was supported by several west African countries such as Senegal, Burkina Fasso and Niger, it was perceived in Algeria as a further step by Morocco to isolate its eastern neighbor in Africa.

Morocco’s desire to join this west African grouping comes few weeks after it was readmitted as full member of the African Union last January.

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