Monday 19 March 2018

Morocco: ECOWAS to hold special summit in 2018 on Rabat's accession

Morocco: ECOWAS to hold special summit in 2018 on Rabat's accession
(APA 12/15/17)

Morocco’s accession to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will not be on the agenda of the 52nd ECOWAS Summit on December 16 in Abuja, but will take place at an extraordinary summit in early 2018, according to reports from Morocco seen by APA Friday.

Last June at the Monrovia Summit, ECOWAS leaders gave their agreement in principle for the Kingdom’s accession.

An impact study on the subject was also ordered, and ECOWAS teams travelled to Morocco to carry it out, and the report on the study was released on December 7, just a week before the summit.

Marcel de Souza, president of the ECOWAS Commission, paid a visit to Morocco on 28 August.

Five points are highlighted by the study. From a legal standpoint, there is no provision for Morocco’s accession, but nothing prevents it either.

Second, Morocco is no stranger to the zone given the economic and political links it already has with the member states.

Third, in terms of security Morocco’s accession would be an added value for the region. Fourth, from a commercial point of view, the Kingdom is the second non-ECOWAS African investment partner in the region, after South Africa, in well-defined sectors and countries.

Fifth, duties in Morocco are different from those of ECOWAS and require adjustment for membership.

To enable ECOWAS heads of state to deliberate on the report and make adjustments to address the fifth point, it was proposed to hold an extraordinary summit early in 2018 to deal specifically with the accession of Morocco.

“Knowing that the agenda of the 52nd Summit of the organization in Abuja is pretty crowded, with the chronic crisis in Bissau; repeated attacks in Mali and Niger; the uncertainty in Liberia; besides internal issues and statutory matters; after consultations with Morocco, the option of an extraordinary summit in early 2018 was chosen,” according to the Moroccan media citing an authoritative source.

“The accession of Morocco will be the only item on the summit agenda, and will be attended by King Mohammed VI,” added the same source.

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