Morocco has not submitted a formal application to become part of the BRICS alliance and has decided not to participate in the group’s summit in South Africa, state news agency MAP said on Saturday.
Referring to an undisclosed diplomatic source, MAP refuted a statement made by South Africa’s foreign minister, Anil Sooklal, earlier this month, wherein he claimed that Morocco was among the countries expressing interest in joining the bloc.
“South Africa allowed itself to speak about Morocco’s ties with the BRICS without prior consultation,” it said.
The current composition of the major emerging economies group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. However, the topic of potential expansion will be addressed during the summit, as South Africa has indicated that over 40 countries have shown interest in becoming part of the group.
South Africa’s diplomatic endorsement of the Algeria-backed Polisario front, striving to establish an autonomous state in Western Sahara – a region that Morocco claims as its own – has created tension in the relationship between the two nations.
According to MAP, Morocco declared its non-participation in the BRICS meeting in South Africa, while also noting that “South Africa has in fact always shown a primary hostility towards Morocco and has systematically taken negative and dogmatic positions on the Moroccan Sahara issue.”
Morocco affirms its commitment to inclusive multilateralism and maintains positive relations with the other member states of BRICS, the country stated.