Chile is an important South American ally of Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict.
Rabat – The president of the Chilean Senate, Jaime Quintana, reiterated his country’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan during a meeting in Laayoune, southern Morocco, on January 28.
Quintana traveled to Laayoune with a large delegation of Chilean officials, including the president of the Chilean-Moroccan friendship group, Senator Guido Girardi.
“We have been supporting for two years the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco to end the conflict over the Sahara,” Quintana said during the meeting with the governor of the Laayoune province, Abdesslam Bekrat.
Quintana went on the applaud the “solid and long-standing political and institutional relations” between Chile and Morocco.
Senator Girardi stressed that the majority of Chile’s political parties support Morocco’s territorial integrity in the Sahara.
He also noted Morocco’s leading role in Africa and expressed his support for strong relations between Chile and the North African kingdom. Giradi underlined, in particular, the need to promote bilateral partnership in the economic, trade, cultural, and scientific fields to meet the challenges of globalization and climate change.
Girardi called for the exchange of expertise in the field of renewable energy production, particularly solar energy. Morocco is home to the world’s largest concentrated solar power complex, the Noor Solar Power Station near Ouarzazate.
Morocco and Chile have long enjoyed warm relations and have cooperated in the economic, cultural, and political realms for several years.
After several African states opened consulates in Morocco’s southern cities of Dakhla and Laayoune, the kingdom may be courting Chile to be the first South American country to inaugurate a diplomatic representation in Western Sahara.
The seven African consulates in the Western Sahara region reflect the continent’s “growing and unequivocal support of the Moroccaness of the Sahara,” Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita affirmed on January 23.
A Chilean consulate in Laayoune would be fitting, given that Chile is an important South American ally of Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict.
Chile’s Senate adopted a resolution in support of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan on January 9, 2018.
In the resolution, Chilean senators called on the government of Chile, as a member of the UN, “to support and commit to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1754, adopted on April 30, 2007,” a resolution on Western Sahara.
The Chilean Senate lauded the pre-eminence of Morocco’s autonomy initiative, which the UN and the international community regard as “a serious and credible initiative” for the final settlement of the regional dispute.
Chilean MPs said the Moroccan initiative “will undoubtedly enable the Sahara population to exercise their right to self-determination, by democratically managing their own affairs through legislative, executive and judicial bodies with exclusive powers under the sovereignty of Morocco.”
Chile’s current president, Sebastian Pinera, affirmed on June 14, 2019, his country’s support for Morocco’s autonomy initiative in a joint statement with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.