Rabat – After withdrawing its recognition of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in 2007, Cape Verde has become one of the champions of Morocco, as well as its African ambitions.
Speaking at a press conference on November 15, following a meeting with Morocco’s Nasser Bourita, Luis Felipe Tavarez, Cape Verde’s joint Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, expressed the “sincerity” of his country’s “strategic relationship” with Morocco. Tavarez said that Cape Verde acknowledges both the “Moroccanness of Western Sahara” and Morocco’s commitment to Africa and African prosperity.
“Cape verde seeks a responsible and credible way of solving this regional dispute in line with the UN efforts,” he argued, in a supportive allusion to the Moroccan Autonomy Plan, a proposal that has widely been described as “serious” and “credible.”
Beyond the reference to Morocco’s Western Sahara proposal, however, Tavarez spoke at length about Morocco’s leadership status in Africa.
He argued that a big part of his country’s support for Morocco and Moroccan initiatives across the continent is the belief that Morocco, which is “on the right path” in terms of stability and socio-economic prosperity, can be both a source of inspiration and a reliable partner for its “African brothers.”
Tavarez’s idea, as he went on to stress, is that Rabat can export its experience and expertise to the majority of African countries still struggling to deliver some of the most foundational development requirements.
“Cape Verde is a neighbor and brother country [to Morocco]. We share maritime borders, but we mostly share a common cultural heritage; we belong to the same continent… We have common values and converging views on many regional and continental matters,” he said of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
On the lingering, yet-to-be-settled Morocco-ECOWAS romance, Tavarez recalled that his country, having been one of the pioneers of Morocco’s return to the AU, has been largely active in convincing the West African bloc to institutionally open its arms to its Moroccan brother and partner. He promised he will continue to work “in sincerity and responsibility” to support and promote Morocco’s ECOWAS ambitions.