The Moroccan people fully appreciate the “historic” decision of the United Arab Emirates to open a Consulate General in Laayoune, in support of the Kingdom’s territorial integrity, said on Wednesday Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita.
The United Arab Emirates is the first non-African Arab country to open a consulate in the southern provinces of the Kingdom, the Minister told the press following the inauguration ceremony of the consulate.
The UAE joins fifteen African countries that have already opened diplomatic representations in the two major cities of the Moroccan Sahara, Laayoune and Dakhla, Mr. Bourita added.
According to the Minister, the decision to open this consulate gives concrete substance, at the political level, to an unwavering sovereign position of the UAE in support of Morocco’s territorial integrity, he noted.
On the legal level, this decision reflects UAE’s will to establish a structure to defend, at the territorial level, the interests of its citizens, whether individuals or legal entities and provide them with the necessary assistance, Mr. Bourita explained.
The consulate is also, diplomatically, a mechanism for strengthening bilateral cooperation and developing trade, economic, cultural and scientific exchanges, he added.
Mr. Bourita said that this event augurs well as it coincides with the celebration by the Moroccan people of the 45th anniversary of the Green March and the commemoration by the United Arab Emirates of the “Flag Day” which symbolizes national unity and strengthens the sense of belonging to the nation.
It is at this time full of symbols that come the sovereign decision of UAE to open a consulate general in Laayoune to reaffirm, most concretely and eloquently, its unwavering and unfailing support for Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara and its territorial integrity, the Minister added.
This new gesture of the Emirates is not fortuitous but constitutes the continuation of solid historical relations whose foundations were laid by the late His Majesty Hassan II and His Highness Prince Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan for over three decades, he said.
With the same commitment and loyalty, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God Assist Him, and his brother His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan continue to attentively nurture these historical relations, out of loyalty to the relations of deep friendship, permanent understanding and active solidarity between the two countries and the personal bonds of friendship and fraternity between the two reigning families, Mr. Bourita underlined.
Thus, high-level visits have succeeded one another between the officials of the two countries, making it possible to enhance bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership and to open up new horizons for cooperation between the two countries in all areas, said Mr. Bourita.
The State of the United Arab Emirates has become today one of the Kingdom’s important economic partners at the Arab level, which reflects the confidence between the two brotherly countries and the growing interest of Emirati economic players in the investment opportunities offered by Morocco, thanks to the new development model for the southern provinces, launched by the Sovereign in Laâyoune on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March, the Minister said.
In this context, Mr. Bourita noted that, like Dakhla, the city of Laayoune, has become an important economic hub linking Morocco to its African depth and a platform for the training of young people and students from Morocco and Africa in the various institutes of the region, as well as a diplomatic center reflecting the dynamism of the southern provinces and their contribution to the development process.
The Minister noted that Morocco remains, firmly and with determination, under the leadership of HM the King, constant in its support for the UAE for the recovery of its three islands – Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa – and the exercise of its sovereignty over the airspace, territorial waters and economic zone of these three islands.
This steadfast position stems from Morocco’s concern for the importance of preserving the territorial unity of Arab countries and its belief in the need to strengthen unity and fight against divisions to face the challenges of the future, Mr. Bourita said.
He also underlined that Moroccans will never forget the fine example of this effective solidarity and genuine Arab brotherhood embodied in the decision of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to instruct his son, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, then 14, to participate in the glorious Green March and share with the Moroccan people their pride for regaining sovereignty over its Sahara.
The Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates is the 9th diplomatic representation inaugurated in the capital of the Moroccan Sahara in less than a year, after those of the Union of the Comoros, Gabon, Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini and Zambia.