King of Morocco stays away from African summit

The King of Morocco did not attend the 51st Summit of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on 2 – 4 June in protest at the presence of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Morocco, which is pushing to become a full member of the body, only has observer status. In spite of reports (such as this Middle East Monitor item) that African states had downgraded their representation at the summit, 12 out of 15 heads of states attended.

 King of Morocco Mohammed V

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry yesterday stated that King Mohammed VI
has cancelled his attendance of the 51st Summit of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because Israeli Prime
Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also been invited.

In a statement the ministry said King Mohammed VI had planned to
visit the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on 3-4 June to attend the 51st
ECOWAS Summit, which was expected to examine Morocco’s request to join
the regional group as a full member.

The statement added that, “During this Royal visit, a meeting with
the President of Liberia, talks with ECOWAS Heads of State and a speech
at the Summit were all scheduled.”


However, over the last few days, major ECOWAS member states have
decided to reduce their level of representation at the summit, to the
bare minimum, due to their disagreement with the invitation handed to
the Israeli prime minister. The statement also noted that other member
states also expressed their astonishment at this invitation.

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