Amir urges more investments, ‘real’ partnership with Africa
Morocco quits Africa-Arab summit over presence of Polisario
HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday delivered a speech at the fourth Africa-Arab Summit held in Equatorial Guinea, calling on all nations to push for a “real” partnership with Africa. “I would like to thank President Teodoro Obiang and the nation of Equatorial Guinea for this generous invitation. This blessed meeting comes three years after the third edition of the summit held in Kuwait under the slogan ‘Partners in Development’,” Sheikh Sabah said.
Kuwait made a solemn effort to boost ties amongst African and Arab nations in the previous event, said HH the Amir, adding that leaders, during the meeting, focused on achieving sustainable development through utilizing their countries’ natural resources to achieve the aspirations of African and Arab individuals. Sheikh Sabah stressed that those who took part in Kuwait’s summit translated words into actions via the establishment of a $1 billion fund initiative aimed at providing financing to investment projects in Africa.
The Amir affirmed that Kuwait’s current contribution to the summit came in the form of the Al-Sumait 201516 prize for Africa’s development, which is a clear testament to the Gulf nation’s keenness on the welfare of the region. Kuwait, in cooperation with regional and international bodies and organizations, took strong strides to further develop Africa, stressed HH the Amir, who added that Africa was an important part of the world economy.
“At the same time, we are very aware that achieving development goals in Africa will not happen without attracting foreign investments,” he reiterated, urging all nations to push for a “real” partnership with the continent. The Amir touched on the political, security, and economic challenges that surrounds the African and Arab regions, saying that the delicate situation in the
Middle East and Africa requires intensive cooperation amongst all countries to find suitable solutions that would bring back peace and security. HH the Amir took the chance to support Saudi Arabia’s initiative to hold the fifth summit on its lands, affirming that the fellow GCC nation has the capabilities to host such a grand event.
Meanwhile, Morocco and several Arab countries walked out of the summit yesterday to protest the presence of a delegation from the Polisario Front, media reports said. Morocco, which is a big investor in Africa, quit the fourth Africa-Arab World Summit, which focuses on economic cooperation, along with seven other Arab nations - Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Yemen - and Somalia.
The Moroccan delegation took the decision to protest “the presence of the emblem of a puppet entity in the meeting rooms”, the Moroccan foreign ministry said, quoted by the Moroccan news agency MAP. Morocco maintains that Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony under its control, is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front, which campaigns for the territory’s independence, demands a referendum on selfdetermination.
The Moroccan delegation quit the one-day summit in Malabo as Rabat is attempting to rejoin the African Union which it left in 1984 - when it was then called the Organisation of African Unity - to protest the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic declared by the Polisario. In 1991, the United Nations brokered a ceasefire between the two sides. But a promised referendum to settle the status of the vast desert territory home to half a million people has yet to materialize.
Morocco’s latest move was criticized on Equatorial Guinea’s Africa 24 network, which is close to the government. “Morocco has partnerships with Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa. We cannot allow such a blow”, said one commentator. — Agencies
MALABO: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah addresses the 4th Africa-Arab Summit yesterday. — KUNA