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African Union passport introduced as continental summit closes

Another milestone during the summit was the request from Morocco to rejoin the African Union after a 32-year absence.

The 27thAfrican Union summit concluded on Monday with at least two notable accomplishments having been achieved during the weeklong conference of African leaders.

A passport that aims to promote inter-African travel and to offer additional ease doing business within African countries was introduced on the last full day of the Kigali, Rwanda, conference, the Mail & Guardian Africa reported.

RELATED:African Union summit aims for regional unity

"Rwanda is ready for the AU Passport issuance. Other countries will also be working towards implementation of this decision. The free movement of people in Africa will spur our economic growth," Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo was quoted by the Mail & Guardian Africa.

The passport, inscribed in five languages, including English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Swahili , was first issued to the chairperson of the African Union, Idris Deby Itno, and to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, AfricaNews reported.


A second milestone during the summit was the request from Morocco to rejoin the African Union after a 32-year absence due to a territorial dispute over Western Sahara, which is recognized by the Union but also claimed by Morocco as its southern provinces, the BBC reported.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI issued a message to the AU summit in Rwanda, expressing his country’s interest to returning to the international organization, the BBC added.


"For a long time our friends have been asking us to return to them so that Morocco can take up its natural place within its institutional family,"a speech given by King Mohammed VI was quoted by Al Jazeera. "The moment has now come."

 

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