Cote d’Ivoire is satisfied with its decision to open a consulate in Laayoune.
Rabat – The Ivorian Minister for African Integration, Ally Coulibaly, affirmed that his country’s decision to open a general consulate in Laayoune, southern Morocco, is a “sovereign act.”
The opening of the Ivorian consulate in Laayoune is in line with the country’s “interests and values,” the minister said in a press briefing following the inauguration of the diplomatic mission.
“In foreign policy, as in other fields, we are careful not to give moral lessons, nor do we want to be told what to do or not to do,” said the Ivorian official. The statement serves to condemn any potential response from the breakaway group of the Polisario Front and its supporter, Algeria.
Algeria and Polisario have been criticizing the African states that have opened consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces.
The decision to open a consulate general in Laayoune “is a decision that we fully assume because it is part of our sovereignty (and) because it is in accordance with our interests and our values,” the official continued.
He added that the act “must not give rise to any controversy whatsoever,” since Côte d’Ivoire has long supported Morocco’s territorial integrity publicly.
The official reiterated his country’s decision to continue to support Morocco and its 2007 autonomy initiative as the only “serious and credible” political solution to end the conflict in Western Sahara.
In addition to Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Comoros, Gambia, and Guinea also recently inaugurated diplomatic representations in Western Sahara.
The openings reflect the growing support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the region from countries throughout Africa.