|A dispute over the status of Western Sahara has led to the division between Morocco and the African Union|
The African Union (AU) says Morocco has officially submitted a request to rejoin the organisation.
Morocco left the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, more than three decades ago in a row over Western Sahara.
The continental body recognised the area as an independent country, while Morocco considers Western Sahara as part of its territory.
A BBC correspondent says it appears Morocco now recognises that its absence has reduced its influence in Africa, and hopes that by joining the AU it will have a greater chance of persuading others to support its position on Western Sahara.