With the growing number of African countries opening diplomatic representations in Morocco’s southern cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, the region is turning into a center for continental cooperation.
Rabat – Morocco’s Western Sahara is “an important commercial crossroads” between Morocco and African countries and will become a leading hub for South-South cooperation, said the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita on Tuesday, February 18.
“The Moroccan Sahara region connects Morocco to its African roots,” he said during a joint press conference with Ivorian Minister of African Integration Ally Coulibaly, following the inauguration of the Consulate General of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire in the city of Laayoune.
The opening of seven diplomatic representations of “brotherly and friendly” African countries in Morocco’s southern region clearly reflects the importance of Western Sahara, explained Bourita.
Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire have always shared strong bonds based in solidarity, said the Moroccan FM, adding that the opening of the Ivorian consulate reflects the attachment of Cote d’Ivoire to its position on the Western Sahara issue.
“It is a very important symbolic act. Cote d’Ivoire has always stood alongside Morocco in all the struggles for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, through positions, mobilization, and acts,” he continued.
According to Bourita, the opening of the consulate is not only an expression of Cote d’Ivoire’s clear political position but also an instrument for strengthening bilateral cooperation.
The Moroccan diplomat recalled several visits of King Mohammed VI to the West African country.
Bourita also announced that Morocco will grant 30 scholarships to Ivorian students who wish to pursue higher education in Laayoune in maritime studies, renewable energy, agriculture, and tourism.