The opening of the Central African and Santomean consulates in Laayoune, southern Morocco, on January 22, brings the total of diplomatic missions in Morocco’s Western Sahara to seven.
Rabat – The decision of several African states to open consulates in Morocco’s southern region of Western Sahara reflects the continent’s “growing and unequivocal support of the Moroccanness of the Sahara,” affirmed Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
“All regions of the African continent are now represented in the southern provinces of the Kingdom by diplomatic representations,” Bourita underlined at a press conference in Laayoune on Thursday.
Following the inauguration of the consulates of the Central African Republic and Sao Tome and Principe, Bourita said: “West Africa is represented by the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and the Republic of Gabon, the South-East of the continent is represented by the Union of Comoros, while Central Africa is represented by the Central African Republic.”
The move from the seven African states is a “political and diplomatic gesture that has a strong symbolic significance,” Bourita emphasized.
The consulates, he went on, reinforce “the reality that the Sahara is Moroccan by law, by history, by the will of its population, and by the support of the international community and friends of Morocco.”
The inauguration of diplomatic representations in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla has given fresh impetus to Morocco’s diplomatic gains on the question of its territorial integrity, added Bourita.
The FM also recalled Bolivia’s recent decision to suspend its recognition of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and to “sever all ties” with the entity.
Bourita evoked the adoption of two bills establishing Morocco’s legal authority over its maritime domain by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The two texts would consolidate Morocco’s sovereignty “over its territorial waters from Tangier to Lagouira, as [Morocco] has been doing since the recovery of [its] southern provinces,” he noted.
According to Bourita, the legislative procedure of the two bills came in response to King Mohammed VI’s royal speech on the 44th anniversary of the Green March, in which the monarch stressed the need to consolidate Morocco’s territories.