According to national news agency MAP on Saturday, Morocco has not formally asked to join the BRICS alliance and will not go to its meeting in South Africa.
Anil Sooklal, the foreign minister of South Africa, claimed earlier this month that Morocco was one of the countries looking to join the union. According to MAP, who cited an unnamed diplomatic source, this is false.
“South Africa allowed itself to speak about Morocco’s ties with the BRICS without prior consultation,” it said.
The group of major emerging economies is now made of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, but its potential expansion will be discussed at the summit and South Africa has said more than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining.
South Africa’s diplomatic support for the Algeria-backed Polisario front, which seeks to establish an independent state in Western Sahara, a territory Morocco considers as its own, has strained relations between the two countries.
Morocco would not attend the BRICS meeting in South Africa, MAP said, adding: “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 is attached to a non-divisive multilateralism and has good ties with the rest of BRICS member states, it said.