Tetouan — Morocco's reintegration into the pan-African organization marks a diplomatic watershed moment in our country's foreign policy, said HM King Mohammed VI.
This major accomplishment, as part of our African policy, was secured despite the obstacles thrown in our way by certain parties. This achievement attests to our African brothers' and sisters' perception of Morocco as a credible player - one whom they hold in high esteem, said the sovereign on Sunday in a speech delivered to the Nation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.
"Following this historic event, I wish to reiterate my thanks and appreciation to all African countries which stood by us - and even those which did not. I am sure the latter will change their position, once they realize the sincerity of our endeavors," HM the King said.
"Although our return to the African organization is a highly significant event, it is not an end in itself. Africa was and always will be a top priority for us. What matters, above all, is the continent's progress and the services provided to African citizens," the sovereign underlined.
As for those who neglect Africa, play down its importance, do not care about its causes or engage in influence peddling, that is their problem, and theirs alone, HM the King insisted, reiterating that Africa is the future and the future starts today.
"Whoever thinks that we did what we did solely to return to the African Union, well, let me simply say they do not know me," the monarch said, noting that now is the time for action and Morocco keenly looks forward to continuing the efforts it has been exerting in Africa for more than fifteen years.
"I should point out, in this regard, that Morocco's return to its African organization will not affect its solid bilateral relations with African nations, nor mutually agreed development programs," HM the King underscored.
Reintegration into the AU is but the start of a new era of joint action with all African countries in order to build a genuine, solidarity-based partnership, ensure - together - our continent's development and meet the needs of African citizens, HM the King said.
"We are currently in the process of building an Africa that believes in itself, is committed to solidarity and rallies behind concrete projects while being open to its surroundings," HM the King affirmed.
It is this comprehensive vision that led the Kingdom to apply officially to join the Economic Commission of West African States, the sovereign recalled, expressing his thanks to the leaders of ECOWAS Member Countries for agreeing in principle to Morocco's request to become a full-fledged member.
ECOWAS is a natural extension of the AU. By joining both institutions, Morocco will contribute to economic prosperity and human development on the continent, HM the King said.
This is a historic political decision and a milestone in the endeavors made towards African integration, which can only be achieved through regional blocs, for the latter have become crucial players in international affairs, HM the King said.
Within ECOWAS, the Kingdom of Morocco will seek to lay down the foundations for genuine African integration that serves the continent and fulfils its peoples' aspirations for development and for a dignified life, in an environment characterized by unity, security and stability, the sovereign stressed.