Bahrain has been and will always remain a supporter of Morocco’s territorial integrity, said the Gulf country’s foreign minister.
Rabat – The new consulate general of Bahrain in Laayoune, southern Morocco, constitutes “a historic step” in the centuries-old relationship between Bahrain and Morocco, said Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdellatif Bin Rashid Al Zayani.
Al Zayani and his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new consulate this morning. Speaking after the inauguration ceremony, Al Zayani said the new consulate in Laayoune “confirms Bahrain’s full support and solidarity with Morocco in its historic and legitimate rights over its Sahara.”
Bahrain has been and will always remain a staunch supporter of Morocco’s territorial integrity, Al Zayani said.
The Bahraini minister added that King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa was pleased to learn of the United States’ decision to recognize Morocco’s Western Sahara sovereignty and open a consulate in Dakhla.
Al Zayani also emphasized that Morocco and Bahrain, two countries that agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, remain committed to the Palestinian cause and a two-state solution.
Steadfast Morocco-Bahrain ties
Bourita said Bahrain’s new consulate represents “undeniable proof” of solidarity between the two countries on the Western Sahara question and that the diplomatic act adds to the country’s “constant support” for Morocco’s territorial integrity and Autonomy Plan.
The consulate reflects the relationship of solidarity, friendship, and respect between Bahrain and Morocco under King Mohammed VI and King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, he continued.
Bahrain has always expressed its support for Morocco’s territorial unity, stability, and security, Bourita said. Morocco, in turn, “has never failed” to support the stability and security of Bahrain, “particularly in the face of Iranian interventions.”
Bourita went on to express the Moroccan people’s appreciation for Bahrain’s declaration of solidarity with Rabat’s operation to end Polisario’s blockade of the Guerguerat border crossing on November 13. Polisario militias staged a three-week blockade of the only road connecting Morocco to sub-Saharan Africa.
Bahrain was among the first countries to express support for Morocco’s action in the UN-monitored buffer zone and condemn Polisario’s destabilizing provocations.
Soon after, Bahrain’s leader informed King Mohammed VI on November 26 of his decision to open a consulate general in Laayoune, a concrete demonstration of the Gulf country’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. On December 13, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a royal decree to formalize the decision.
Growing diplomatic momentum in Morocco’s southern provinces
The inauguration of Bahrain’s consulate general is the 10th of its kind in Laayoune in one year. The wali (governor) of the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region, Abdeslam Bekrate, and the president of the Regional Council, Sidi Hamdi Ould Errachid, attended the ceremony, along with local diplomats and officials.
With a diplomatic presence in Laayoune, Bahrain joins Comoros, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Zambia, and the UAE.
Jordan also recently announced its decision to open a consulate in Laayoune, while the US will open one in Dakhla. Morocco’s southern provinces will be home to 20 diplomatic representations in total.
Morocco’s foreign minister assured during today’s press briefing with Al Zayani that Rabat will continue working to permanently establish its sovereignty over the southern provinces and that additional countries will soon bolster the international diplomatic presence in the region.