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Lusaka – .- Morocco failed to convince African delegations to exclude the Saharawi Republic from taking part in the work of the eighth summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), scheduled for 28-29 August in Tunis, and the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) adopted on Thursday in Lusaka a resolution calling for the participation of all African countries in this meeting.

This resolution was adopted at the end of a closed session marked by a lengthy debate by African foreign ministers, as part of the 41st session of the AU Executive Council currently being held in the Zambian capital.

According to well-informed sources, the Moroccan representative tried in vain during this meeting to convince all the African delegations of the necessity of excluding the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), by putting forward vain arguments according to which “the partnership linking the African countries with Japan does not fall within the framework of the AU”.

An attempt doomed to failure, according to the same sources, in the sense that no state, even those allied with the Makhzen, supported the Moroccan position. On the contrary, many of the participating African ministers noted the need to ask the Japanese partner to extend an invitation to all African countries, including the Saharawi Republic.

At the end of the session, a draft resolution prepared by the President of the Council, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, included this point and charged the AU Commission, headed by President Moussa Faki, to keep Japan informed of the African common position on this question.

It should be noted that the TICAD Summit is one of the most important international forums for development cooperation between African countries, Japan and international bodies.