Morocco Will Never Recognize Western Sahara's Independence ~ Deputy Foreign Minister

Morocco "does not recognize" the independence of Western Sahara despite joining the African Union after a dispute spanning decades on the territory, said the deputy foreign minister, Nasser BOURITA, in the remarks published on Sunday.

On Monday, the AU adopted the reinstatement of Morocco on the block that left in 1984 to protest against the admission (SADR) Democratic Saharawi Arab Republic declared by the Polisario Front during the war for the territory.

"Not only does Morocco not recognize and will never recognize this entity called" The Desk website BOURITA said in an interview.

"It will also redouble efforts for the small minority of countries, especially Africa, which recognize it, change their positions."

The accession of the AU would not change the position of Morocco that Western Sahara is an integral part of its territory, he said.

The Monday summit in Addis Ababa followed an intense diplomatic battle with supporters of the Polisario, led by Algeria and South Africa, Morocco .

These countries "have spent months doing all they can to prevent our return, until the last minute," he told AFP a Moroccan diplomat who wished not to be identified.

"The Addis summit was a setback for them," he said, adding that they are now working hard "to present this failure as a success."

The Polisario and its allies say that the return of Morocco to the African bloc implies the recognition of the borders of the SADR.

Joining an international forum in the presence of an unrecognized can not imply recognition of the entity's entity status, he said.

The Arab countries are members of the UN as well as Israel, which does not recognize, he said.

"The return of Morocco is a short cut towards the presence of the Polisario in the challenge AU," said the diplomatic source.

"Morocco will continue to mobilize to de legitimize SADR".

Thousands Attend Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Funeral

Tens of thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.