The European Union-African Union Summit opens on Thursday 17th February, and a thorny question is whether or not an invitation will be extended to the Western Sahara to attend.
After today’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the European Union stressed in the clearest way, that its position has not changed regarding the Western Sahara saying that none of its Member States recognise the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Responding to a question about whether an invitation that would be extended to the separatists to take part in the European Union-African Union summit, which opens Thursday in Brussels, the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Peter Stano, stated that the EU did not invite the Polisario.
The EU is co-organising this summit with the AU, and each organisation is responsible for inviting its members. It is therefore the African Union that has taken responsibility for inviting its members.
The EU could not interfere in the AU’s decisions with regard to its members.
None of the EU member states recognise the SADR and its participation in the AU invited summit does not change the position of the EU and its member states.
The EU’s position on the Western Sahara is well known and remains unchanged, they support a political process within the framework of the United Nations to reach a political, just, realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable solution based on compromise, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
“The fundamental point to clarify is that for this Summit, the European Union is co-organiser with the African Union (…) therefore it is the African Union which took charge of the invitation” on the African side, the EU Foreign Affairs Spokesman Peter Stano explained.
He added that this invitation from the African Union “does not change the position of the European Union”, namely that it does not recognize this entity, nor does “any of the EU Member States.”
This position remains in line with that previously expressed by the EU at the EU-AU Summit in Abidjan in 2017.