As South Africa gets set to host the five-nation grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa commonly called BRICS to a four-day meeting starting on Tuesday, the Kingdom of Morocco has declined the invitation to attend.
BRICS is a grouping of world economies and was founded 13 years ago. It has planned a meeting tagged BRICS-Africa.
But a source from Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and African Cooperation has confirmed that the kingdom never considered participating in the meeting in any capacity.
It had been speculated that Morocco might be wooed to be part of the current five-nation alliance. It had also been speculated that Russia was considering holding a BRICS Games, about four weeks to Paris 2024 Olympics which the country is likely to be excluded.
In declining the invitation to attend the meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, a source in Morocco remarked that such initiative did not originate from BRICS or the African Union. Rather, it was a South African initiative on a national level.
The strained relationship of South Africa and Morocco is also a contributive factor in the kingdom’s decision to decline the invitation.
According to the same source, South Africa has always shown a primary hostility towards Morocco, and has systematically taken negative and dogmatic positions on the question of the Moroccan Sahara.
“Pretoria has thus multiplied, both nationally and within the African Union, its notoriously malicious actions against Morocco’s higher interests.”
It was further stressed that South African diplomacy was known for its light, improvised and unpredictable management when it comes to organizing this kind of event.
As proof, the source adds, the deliberate and provocative breaches of protocol that marked Morocco’s invitation to this meeting. Worse still, many countries and entities appear to have been invited arbitrarily by the host country, without any real basis or prior consultation with the other member countries of the BRICS Group.
“It had thus become clear that South Africa was going to hijack this event from its nature and purpose, to serve a hidden agenda”, says the same source, noting that Morocco consequently ruled out, from the outset, any favorable reaction to the South African invitation.
With regard to the Kingdom of Morocco’s relationship with the BRICS Group, the Ministry’s authorized source notes that, once again, South African diplomacy has arrogated to itself the right to talk about Morocco and its relationship with the BRICS, without prior consultation, deeming this to be “approximations” that in no way reflect reality.
For the same source, Morocco does indeed maintain substantial and promising bilateral relations with the other four members of the Group, and is even linked to three of them by Strategic Partnership Agreements. However, the Kingdom has never formally applied for membership of the « BRICS » group.
“There is as yet no framework or precise procedures governing the expansion of this grouping,” says the same source.
The authorized source adds that the future of Morocco’s relations with the grouping as such, whether in their nature or in their scope, “will fall within the general framework and strategic orientations of the Kingdom’s foreign policy, as defined by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God Assist Him.”
“Morocco remains committed to efficient, supportive and renewed multilateralism,” the same source emphasizes, saying that the Kingdom considers that multilateral platforms should not be used to encourage division or interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign States, nor should they create precedents that could, one day or another, turn against their initiators.