Haiti is the first non-Arab and non-African country to open its diplomatic representation in Morocco’s Western Sahara region.
Rabat – The Republic of Haiti opened a consulate general in the city of Dakhla, southern Morocco, on December 14.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and the Ambassador of Haiti in Canada, Weibert Arthus, chaired the inauguration ceremony.
This makes Haiti the first non-Arab and non-African country to open its diplomatic representation in Western Sahara, a display of its recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the region.
“This city has become an important diplomatic center with its location, its vocation as a platform towards Sub-Saharan Africa, and its potential and which presents real prospects for regional development,” said Bourita after the ceremony.
Arthus expressed Haiti’s wish “to bring together not only the two peoples but also the communities of the two countries, mainly those of Dakhla which are very active” and said Haiti will always defend Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Haiti first announced its decision to open its consulate general in Dakhla on November 24.
Haiti’s consulate is the 17th of its kind in Morocco’s southern provinces. Bahrain will also open its consulate in Laayoune today, making it the 18th, and Jordan and the US are set to soon inaugurate diplomatic representations in the region.
The two southern Moroccan cities of Dakhla and Laayoune will be home to 20 consulates combined.
Haiti’s diplomatic move comes to concretize its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
During the inauguration ceremony this morning, Bourita told the press that a year ago, Morocco forecasted only 10 consulates to open in the southern provinces, but that expectation has now doubled.
Morocco’s top diplomat also said that two more consulates could open in Dakhla, in addition to that of the US.
Bourita affirmed that in addition to the supportive value that these consulates represent for Morocco in the question of Western Sahara, they mark the city of Dakhla as an important diplomatic center, and a bridge between North and sub-Saharan Africa.
Haiti’s consulate general in Dakhla comes only two days after the Caribbean country opened its embassy in Morocco’s capital, Rabat, on December 12.
The embassy is Haiti’s second diplomatic representation in Africa, after an embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
During the inauguration of the embassy in Rabat, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Joseph reiterated his support for Morocco’s territorial integrity. He said Morocco is “a true partner” for Haiti, adding that his visit to North Africa will further boost bilateral ties.