President Edgar Lungu is teetering on a very delicate diplomatic undertaking by hosting Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic leader Brahim Ghali barely weeks after Moroccan monarch King Mohamed VI cancelled his State visit to Zambia.
Morocco considers Western Sahara an important part of the kingdom. The Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front movement, which demands self-determination for Western Sahara, wants a referendum on independence.
The African Union recognized Western Sahara as an independent State and even admitted it as a member while Morocco considers it an extension of its territory.
Morocco walked out of the African Union, at that time known as the Organization of African Unity in 1984 in protest of the recognition of the Western Sahara and Zambia tolled the continental line.
Last year Zambia pulled the rag on Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic also known as Western Sahara by saying it had withdrawn recognition.
President Edgar Lungu was flirting with Morocco that has since been mending fences with Africa and has also re-applied to be re-admitted to the African Union after having written to the continental body in July last year.
President Lungu will have to summon every diplomatic shrewdness that he can master to set the country’s record straight again after having reneged on the regional and continental position.
Zambia cannot say yes to both parties and will have to restore its respect by stating a position on the matter.
King Mohammed of Morocco cancelled a visit to Zambia last month in what is understood to have been a protest on the ambiguous stance had taken.
President Ghali will be in the country for three days and was over the weekend in South Africa where he met President Jacob Zuma.