Sahel, Sahara summit drops sahara item from final release at morocco's request
Morocco-Regional, Politics, 3/8/2002
Morocco's premier, Abderrahmane Youssoufi, who represented King Mohammed VI at the 4th summit of the Sahel and Sahara countries (COMESSA, also known as Cen-Sad) said the summit dropped an item on the Sahara from its final statement at the request of Morocco.
Youssoufi had expressed to the summit on Thursday astonishment to see the final statement refer to the Sahara issue while this item was not included in the agenda and Morocco, the concerned country, did not bring up the issue.
Following the session, Youssoufi deplored in a statement to reporters, the fact that this item was added in the final statement without Morocco's knowing, explaining that the issue has entered a new stage.
The Union acting chairman, Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi, told the summit the controversial paragraph was dropped from the statement and was therefore nil.
Meanwhile, Niger's president, Mamadou Tandja, said the Sahara issue was not addressed at all at the summit and invited the Libyan leader to examine the situation and personally follow it up.
The final statement adopted a series of recommendations dealing with the community construction process and other political and security issues.
COMESSA also admitted Benin and Togo as new members to the grouping that comprises Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Gambia, Jibouti, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia.
Thirteen African heads of state and six ministers and heads of government took part in the summit of Sen-Sad.
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