As in 2018, Japan says it would not invite «SADR» to TICAD

The Japanese ambassador to Rabat announced that his country is not interested in inviting «SADR» to its upcoming Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development, expected to take place in Yokohama. Japan couldn’t honor a similar promise last year.

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Japan's ambassador to Morocco and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. / Ph. MAP

Yokohama is expected to host on August 28 and 30th a new edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Three weeks before this big Asian-African meeting, the Japanese ambassador to the Kingdom promised Morocco that «SADR» will not be invited to the meeting. Japan’s promise was delivered by Takuji Hanatani during a meeting he held with the Speaker of Morocco’s House of Representatives Habib Elmalki.

The diplomat noted that «the puppet republic is not invited to meetings organized by his country within the framework of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, unlike the 54 countries recognized at the international level as members of the African Union», Elmalki told Morocco’s official news agency on Thursday.

During this meeting, Hanatani stressed that his country «has never recognized and will never recognize ‘SADR’», adding that Japan «has always supported the relevant Security Council resolutions», regarding the Sahara conflict.

Would history repeat itself ?

The promises of Japan are not the first of their kinds and should be taken with a grain of salt. Last year, the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs made the same promise when he met his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assemble in September 2018.

The Minister, however, couldn’t meet his promises. In October 2018, representatives from the Polisario were invited to the ministerial meeting held ahead of the 7th edition of TICAD, forcing the Moroccan delegation, led by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Charge of African Affairs Mohcine Jazouli, to leave the meeting.

Later on, Polisario representatives attended a TICAD preparatory meeting at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa in June.

For the record, Morocco did not protest against the Polisario’s participation to the ministerial meeting that proceeded the European Union-African Union conference.

After Yokohama, the kingdom will be faced with another challenge. Will it manage to remove the Polisario from the list of guests invited to the first Russia-Africa summit, scheduled for October 24 in Sochi ?

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