PUBLICIDAD

Iberdrola

Emirates opens Consulate in Laayoune

The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs inaugurated the Consulate of the Arab country on Wednesday 4 November 2020 in Laayoune
Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita (left), and the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to Morocco, Al-Asri Saeed Ahmed Aldhaheri (right), inaugurate the United Arab Emirates' Consulate in Laayoune, the main city in the disputed region of Western Sahara, on 4 November 2020

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita (left), and the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to Morocco, Al-Asri Saeed Ahmed Aldhaheri (right), inaugurate the United Arab Emirates' Consulate in Laayoune, the main city in the disputed region of Western Sahara, on 4 November 2020

The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, accompanied by the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Rabat, Al-Asri Saeed Ahmed Aldhaheri, opened the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates in El Aaiún on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

The United Arab Emirates thus becomes the first non-African Arab country to open a consulate in the southern provinces of the Kingdom, recalling that the Emirates thus joins the 15 African countries that have already opened diplomatic representations in the two main cities of the Moroccan Sahara: El Aaiún and Dajla, in less than a year.

"It is with joy and pride that I inaugurate, together with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, this Consulate which will strengthen the strategic, political and economic partnership between the two countries", declared Nasser Bourita. This UAE Consulate will inject a new dynamic for UAE investment in the region," added the Minister. 

The decision reflects the country's desire to establish a structure to defend, on a territorial level, the interests of both nations. The minister pointed out that this new gesture by the Emirates is not fortuitous, but the continuation of solid historical relations whose foundations were laid by the late King Hassan II and His Highness Prince Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan for more than three decades.

Nuevo Consulado de Emiratos Árabes Unidos en El Aaiún, la principal ciudad de la región en disputa del Sáhara Occidental de Marruecos, el 4 de noviembre de 2020
AFP/FADEL SENNA - New UAE Consulate in Laayoune, the main city of the disputed region of Western Sahara in Morocco, on 4 November 2020

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, for his part, thanked Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, for "this important historical decision to support the territorial unity of the (Moroccan) Kingdom with this part of its territory", thus emphasising the political and not merely consular nature of this decision, as there are no number of emirate residents in Western Sahara who would justify a consulate. The Moroccan monarch likewise expressed his deep pride in the United Arab Emirates' decision, "a decision that embodies its firm stance in defending Morocco's legitimate rights and just causes, and its permanent support in various regional and international forums".

The Consulate is also, at diplomatic level, a mechanism for strengthening bilateral cooperation and developing commercial, economic, cultural and scientific exchanges. "This flow of investments will be made in the fields of renewable energy, agriculture, fishing, tourism and others," Bourita stressed. A strategic partnership that opens up new horizons for cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

The United Arab Emirates has now become one of the Kingdom's main economic partners, reflecting the trust between the two countries and the growing interest of Emirati's economic players in the investment opportunities offered by Morocco.

El Consulado de EAU es la primera representación árabe en El Aaiún
The UAE Consulate is the first Arab representation in Laayoune

Likewise, Dakhla has today become an important economic hub linking Morocco with the rest of Africa and a platform for training young people from Morocco and Africa in the various fields offered by the region, as well as a diplomatic centre reflecting the dynamism of the southern provinces and their contribution to the development process of the latter.

Bourita also said that it was a good omen that this event coincided with the celebration by the Moroccan people of the 45th anniversary of the Green March and the commemoration by the United Arab Emirates of "Flag Day", which symbolises national unity and reinforces the sense of belonging to the nation.

In his address, on the margins of the opening of the United Arab Emirates' consulate, the foreign minister referred to the recent Security Council Resolution 2548 which, according to the diplomat, attaches importance to the autonomy project, a "credible and serious" initiative based on a political solution, compromise and pragmatism.

El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Marruecos, Nasser Bourita, en la inauguración del Consulado de Emiratos Árabes Unidos en El Aaiún
Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, at the opening of the United Arab Emirates' Consulate in Laayoune

Taj Eddin al-Husseini, a Moroccan academic and expert in international relations, considered that "the opening of 15 Consulates in the region clearly expresses these countries' recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over the Sahara", "Morocco's legal or administrative sovereignty over the Sahara is indisputable, and the existence of these Consulates is a confirmation of this sovereignty", he added.

In recent months Morocco has promoted the opening of consulates of various countries in El Aaiún and Dajla, a way of making a move in a conflict that is currently blocked at the United Nations, without any of the parties to the conflict (Morocco and the Polisario Front) showing the least willingness to give in to their positions.

This consistent position stems from Morocco's concern about the importance of preserving the territorial unity of the Arab countries and its conviction of the need to strengthen unity and combat divisions in order to meet the challenges of the future.

In a video statement, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE's foreign minister, announced that Abu Dhabi's presence in this Moroccan region is a major boost to the level of relations between the two countries, with the aim of advancing to a higher level.

The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the opening of the UAE Consulate in El-Aaiun "is simply the translation of the historical relations between the two countries and a strategic partnership based on the highest levels".