Gabon reaffirmed on Thursday, October 22, its support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara.
Gabon’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Michel Xavier Biang, expressed his country’s stance on the territorial dispute before the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee.
Morocco’s Autonomy Plan presents “credible prospects” for a permanent solution to the Western Sahara conflict, Gabon’s ambassador said, affirming that the Moroccan proposal “is undoubtedly the best approach and a compromise solution par excellence.”
The autonomy initiative suggests turning Morocco’s southern provinces in Western Sahara into a semi-autonomous region. The local population would independently manage questions related to social, economic, and political development. Meanwhile, Morocco’s central government would still handle issues of national interest, such as defense and diplomacy.
Gabon’s representative at the UN stressed that the “credibility and pragmatism” of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan are some of the reasons the UN Security Council welcomed it.
Biang also spoke highly of Morocco’s development model in Western Sahara, saying the efforts have greatly contributed to empowering local populations and improving their living conditions.
“Gabon encourages Morocco to continue the efforts it started,” he added.
The Central African country opened in January a Consulate General in Laayoune, southern Morocco. The opening of the diplomatic representation in Western Sahara testifies to Gabon’s support for Morocco’s development efforts, Biang said.
Read also: Gabonese FM: Country’s General Consulate in Laayoune Supports Moroccanness of Western Sahara
The Gabonese ambassador also emphasized that reaching a solution in Western Sahara would significantly contribute to stability in the Sahel region.
“While the Sahel region is marked by security challenges, it is fundamental to work for a fast political solution based on a compromise between the states of the region,” Biang stated.
Gabon is one of many African states that recently reiterated their support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara. Last week, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and The Gambia, among other countries, said that the Moroccan proposal is the most credible solution to the territorial dispute.