By Abdessamad El Baz
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, released a joint statement on Friday in which Chile affirmed its support for Morocco’s autonomy initiative.
Chile asserted its “support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, as well as the serious efforts of Morocco and the Plan of Autonomywith a view to reaching a realistic, viable and definitive political solution”, according to a joint statement reported by Maghreb Arab Agency (MAP).
Mr. Bourita informed the Chilean side of the latest developments concerning the Western Sahara conflict and the growing international support for the autonomy plan that Morocco proposed in April 2007.
Both countries also expressed their interest in bilateral cooperation in various sectors.
The meeting is part of Bourita’s official four-day tour to four Latin American countries (The Dominican Republic, Republic of Suriname, Brazil, and Chile).
On Thursday, June 11, Mr. Bourita was received by President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina. The two officials held a joint statement, Santo Domingo, in which the Dominican Republic saw the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco “a realistic, credible and serious basis to reach a negotiated result by the parties.”
Mr. Bourita conveyed a verbal message from King Mohammed VI to the president of the Dominican Republic. The message expressed Morocco’s determination to increase its bilateral relations and its partnership with the country. The Republic of Suriname
On June 12, Mr. Bourita met Suriname’s Vice President, Michael Ashwin Adhi to reaffirm both countries bilateral agreements.
The Caribbean country ”reiterates its decision taken on March 9, 2016, and communicated to the United Nations, under which it withdrew its recognition of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)”, according to the joint statement.
Mr. Bourita also met his Suriname counterpart, Yldiz Pollack-Beighle. The meeting “focused on several issues of common interest related to trade, investment, connectivity, cultural exchanges, tourism and the exchange of experiences.”, according to MAP.
On June 13, Mr. Bourita met with his Brazilian counterpart, Ernesto Araujo to discuss possible solutions to the Sahara region dispute. ”On the issue of the Sahara, a vital issue for Morocco, Brazil supports Morocco’s efforts to reach a realistic solution to this issue, which has lasted for decades,” Araujo pointed out.
Araujo also emphasizes the friendships that bind both countries and promised that Brazil will work into finding any solutions to the Sahara conflict that go beyond “rhetoric”.
In this meeting, Morocco and Brazil signed several agreements aiming at covering various areas of ”investment, defence, mutual legal assistance…”, according to MAP.
Brazil, Chile, Republic of Suriname, and the Dominican Republic join a list of countries that consider Morocco’s autonomy plan as a solution for the Western Sahara conflict.
The Republic of El Salvador has recently considered reviewing its stance on the Sahara conflict issuing a statement saying that new President Nayib Bukele is evaluating the country’s position on Western Sahara. “Once the evaluations are concluded, the government of El Salvador will inform the international community of its decision in this regard.”