Chile’s outgoing ambassador to Morocco hopes the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Morocco-Chile diplomacy in 2021 will be an opportunity to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
Rabat – With Morocco and Chile set to celebrate 60 years of diplomacy next year, representatives of the two countries welcomed on Wednesday the continued growth of Rabat-Santiago relations.
Chile’s Ambassador to Morocco, Alex Geiger Soffia, is marking the end of his diplomatic functions in the country through meetings with various Moroccan officials. During a meeting with the Speaker of Morocco’s House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, on July 15, Soffia stressed that “Morocco is a very important country for Chile.”
The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Morocco-Chile diplomacy in 2021 will be an opportunity to enhance cooperation between the two countries, he added.
The Chilean ambassador also expressed satisfaction with the burgeoning relations between the two countries’ parliaments after the February 17 signing of an agreement to establish a dialogue mechanism between the two institutions. Through the agreement, the Moroccan and Chilean parliaments seek to work together to promote peace and support multilateral dialogue to settle conflicts.
El Malki echoed the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening and consolidating relations between the two countries. The February 17 agreement between the House of Representatives and Chile’s Chamber of Deputies is the first of its kind on the Chilean side, the lower house speaker pointed out.
The February 17 agreement also coincided with the reiteration of Chile’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
Chile’s support for the Western Sahara Autonomy Plan
Ivan Flores, the speaker of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, said during a meeting with Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani that Chile’s official stance towards Western Sahara mirrors the chamber’s backing of the Autonomy Plan.
Chile has grown to be an important South American ally of Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict, especially after the country’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 the UN-led political process in Western Sahara.
The resolution also emphasized 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 between Morocco, Polisario, and Algeria.
The Chilean MPs who signed the resolution argued that 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 his country’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan on June 14, 2019.
Morocco and Chile have long enjoyed warm relations, cooperating in the economic, cultural, and political realms for several years. During a visit to Laayoune in January, the president of the Chilean Senate, Jaime Quintana, called for stronger bilateral partnerships in the economic, trade, cultural, and scientific fields to meet the challenges of globalization and climate change.