As in the previous years, 2019 will bring its share of challenges for Morocco. Once again, the Sahara dispute is expected to be a priority for the Kingdom, which will have to prepare for two major meetings this year, including the Russia-Africa summit and the 7th edition Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), scheduled for August the 28th, 29th and 30th in Yokohama.
Attending the summit in Japan was discussed in Rabat by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono.
«Minister Kono expects Morocco to have a positive participation in TICAD in August, 2019», said the Japanese Foreign Ministry in a statement, adding that «the presence of the so-called «SADR» at the meeting «was a big problem».
The first Russia-Africa Summit
For the record, the Moroccan delegation invited to attend the 6th edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development withdrew from the meeting after realizing that the host country invited Polisario representatives.
This comes as Japanese Foreign Minister promised his Moroccan counterpart last year to reconsider the participation of the Front at Maputo, describing it as a mistake.
Indeed, Morocco blamed the Japanese authorities for not taking into account «all the commitments it promised Morocco to fulfill, especially during the meeting that brought the two foreign ministers together in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly», a diplomatic source said.
Not far from Japan, Moscow will host the first Russia-Africa summit in the last quarter of 2019. This gathering will probably be problematic for the Kingdom because of the Polisario.
Long before the Medvedev government announced the exact date of the meeting, Algiers obviously took a step ahead of Rabat, thanks in particular to the Commissioner of the African Union for Peace and Security. Algerian politician Smaïl Chergui went to Moscow earlier this month to prepare for this international meeting. A mission that is normally the responsibility of the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki.