Nine countries showed support for Morocco’s territorial integrity by withdrawing from the Arab-African summit held in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo in protest over the presence of the flag of the Polisario separatists.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Yemen and Somalia in addition to Morocco decided to leave the summit in protest over the presence of the flag of the Algerian-based RASD entity.
The withdrawal of Morocco along with the other Arab countries from the summit was out of respect for the principles and achievements of Arab-African action, on top of which the principle of safeguarding the territorial integrity of Arab and African states and that participation in such a summit is open only to UN member states, Morocco’s foreign ministry explained in a statement.
The withdrawal was dictated by the concern to uphold the principles of international law, notably the respect for the sovereignty of states, said the statement, adding that hoisting the flag of a separatist entity is prejudicial to joint Arab-African action.
The withdrawing countries remain attached to African-Arab partnership and aware of the security and stability challenges facing the continent and the need to join efforts in order to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Arab and African peoples in full sovereignty of their national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement went on to say.
The Moroccan foreign ministry recalls that the second Arab-African summit in Syrte in 2010 and the third in Kuwait in 2013 have stressed the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states as one of the foundations of Arab-African partnership.