ECOWAS heads of state are to decide if Morocco would be enlisted as a full member of the sub-regional body by December when they consider its application.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed in an interview that the West African body is still undergoing debate on the admission of the North African country.
According to NAN reports, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation had indicated interest to enlist as a member-country in February.
A ministry statement said: “The kingdom of Morocco has informed President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ECOWAS incumbent chair, of “its interest to join the regional group as a full member”.
Onyeama told declared while speaking with the NAN in New York that “A definitive decision would be taken at the end of the year.
“Clearly, there are some countries that feel that Morocco shouldn’t join and one or two others that feel that Morocco may join and different arguments are advanced.
“So ultimately the ECOWAS Head of States will take a decision on that.
“I think in principle, there’s nothing against Morocco joining ECOWAS but it’s just whether it would add, whether it would be a win for the ECOWAS region or not.
“So the Heads of State will take a final decision later in the year at the next summit meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State in December,” Onyeama stated.
The country made it clear that its intention to join ECOWAS as a full member was in agreement with the dictates of ECOWAS founding treaty and in compliance with its membership demands.
Morocco said it was interested to join the regional body so as “to crown the strong political, human, historical, religious and economic ties at all levels with ECOWAS member countries”.
Morocco is enjoying an observer status with ECOWAS and its institutional relations has been in operation for many years ago.
But the latest request by Morocco has been strongly debated by groups, such as the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria, which had said the sub-regional body should not grant the country’s request.
According to them, Morocco’s agenda is to reduce the influence of Nigeria in ECOWAS, the African Union and even at the United Nations.