Morocco has warmly received the five new African consulates in its southern provinces.
Rabat – At the first Moroccan-Egyptian Strategic Forum in Dakhla, southern Morocco, Egyptian experts commended the decisions made by various African countries to open consulates in Morocco’s southern region of Western Sahara.
During the forum on Saturday, January 18, Moroccan and Egyptian community actors, academics, and journalists penned the Declaration of Dakhla.
The declaration is a diplomatic document that welcomes the new consulates of Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, and Gabon in Laayoune, and the Gambia and Guinea in Dakhla.
The decision to open consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces “is explicit support for the territorial integrity, the Moroccanness of the Sahara and the autonomy proposal presented by Morocco for a political and realistic solution to the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara,” the Declaration of Dakhla states.
“The opening of diplomatic representations is likely to consolidate South-South cooperation in all its dimensions, support development opportunities, and promote investments for the progress, security, and stability of all African peoples, particularly in the Sahel and Sahara region, in accordance with the Royal vision in this regard,” the declaration continues.
“The community actors laud this diplomatic act, which backs the validity of Morocco’s just and legitimate position over its national cause, noting that the opening of consulates general in the southern provinces testifies to the success of royal diplomacy, official diplomacy, as well as parallel diplomacy.”
Morocco has warmly received the five new African consulates in its southern provinces, viewing the new developments as markers of successful diplomatic efforts in favor of the North African country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in Western Sahara.
On June 26, 2019, Cote d’Ivoire inaugurated an honorary consulate in Laayoune to promote diplomatic ties between Morocco and the African state. The Honorary Consul for Cote d’Ivoire, Mohamed El Imam Maelainine, reiterated his country’s unwavering support for Morocco’s sovereignty in Western Sahara.
Comoros opened a consulate in Laayoune on November 13, 2019. Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita maintained that Comoros has always been a “brotherly” country and one that has always “defended the causes of Morocco.”
Bourita also expressed Morocco’s satisfaction with the inauguration of Gambia’s general consulate in Dakhla on January 7. Gambia’s support for Moroccan autonomy is “unwavering,” the minister stated.
Most recently, Gabon opened a general consulate in Laayoune on January 17. Alain-Claude Bilie-Bye-Nze, the foreign minister of Gabon, said that his country is committed to supporting and promoting the “Moroccan identity” of Western Sahara.
Guinea opened its general consulate in Dakhla that same day, and Morocco’s foreign minister remarked that the inauguration of diplomatic missions in the region consolidates Morocco’s vision to make the country a gateway on the African continent.
Egypt and Morocco have maintained warm relations since Morocco’s independence in 1956. Both countries are members of the Arab League, GAFTA, WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the UN.
Egypt affirmed its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity in 1999. The Arab country closely follows the issue of Western Sahara and is committed to a settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law and UNSC resolutions.