South Africa and Morocco will restore diplomatic ties, thirteen years after Rabat withdrew its ambassador to Pretoria, South African President was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The two countries broke ties in 2004, when former South African president Thabo Mbeki chose to recognise the independence of a region in the Western Sahara that Morocco claims as its own.
Morocco considers the Polisario Front, which proclaimed the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1976, as a terrorist organisation.
"Morocco is an African nation and we need to have relations with them," Zuma told South Africa's City Press. "We never had problems with them anyway; they were the first to withdraw diplomatic relations."
Zuma's remarks follow a brief meeting between himself and Morocco's King Mohammed VI on the sidelines of an African Union-European Union summit last week.
"They felt that even if we differ on the Western Sahara issues, the two countries should have a relationship," Zuma said, referring to the stance of Moroccan officials he met with.