The general consulate will be the eighth of its kind in the region, a diplomatic milestone for Morocco’s position on one of the most world complex conflicts: Western Sahara.
Rabat – Burundi opened on Friday its general consulate in Laayoune, a city in Morocco’s southern region of Western Sahara. The city is already home to a number of diplomatic missions representing African states.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita chaired the inauguration ceremony with his counterpart Ezechiel Nibigira.
The opening of Burundi’s consulate is another show of support for Morocco’s position on Western Sahara.
The inauguration of Burundi’s consulate coincided with a landmark event taking place in the region to reinforce cooperation between Morocco and Pacific Island States.
The 3rd Forum of the Pacific Island States opened yesterday with the participation of high-level delegations to discuss ways to boost South-South cooperation.
Burundi’s consulate in Laayoune is the eighth diplomatic representation after seven other states opened offices in Morocco’s Laayoune and Dakhla in Western Sahara.
Cote d’Ivoire is the latest country to open the representation in Laayoune. The opening was on February 18.
Following the inauguration, Ivorian FM Ally Coulibaly said that the decision is a “sovereign act.”
“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 came to refute any potential questions on the validity of the embassy by the breakaway group the Polisario Front and its supporter, Algeria.
The inauguration of the consulate and the accompanying statement drew a swift response from Algeria, the Polisario Front’s main backer and financer. Algeria recalled its ambassador from Cote d’Ivoire for consultation.
The Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Comoros, Gambia, and Guinea have all opened consulates in Morocco’s southern region of Western Sahara.
The openings reflect the growing support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the region from countries throughout Africa.