UK goes a step further in recognising Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara

Existing trade agreements between the two kingdoms go beyond the economic to go a step further in the political sphere
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The United States became the first major power to officially recognise Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara in the context of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Alawi kingdom. This recognition has led the US to establish active cooperative relations with Morocco, as well as to strengthen existing alliances.

With this exercise, former President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that "our two great friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations, a huge step forward for peace in the Middle East".

However, analysts suggest that the UK, following the lead of the United States, may be moving closer to recognising Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara. Initially, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had signed trade, political and military agreements with Morocco's King Mohammed VI. These alliances were made in exchange for the UK becoming the next world power to open a consulate in Western Sahara, where the British already have major business complexes.

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Furthermore, in London in 2019, it was agreed to maintain the Morocco-EU trade partnership after Brexit came into force. A mutual agreement was also reached in Rabat on access to the British market for all products originating from Western Sahara, i.e. Sahrawi fisheries, agriculture and phosphates, which would enter the British market under the same conditions as Moroccan products.

With all this, it seems that the UK may be closer to officially recognising Morocco's recognition of Western Sahara after the BBC state channel together with the British National Statistics Agency updated the map of Morocco, officially removing the line separating the Kingdom from the desert. These revelations have been declared by the Moroccan media, Rue20.

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The importance of this new mapping lies in the fact that these British institutions carry significant weight both inside and outside the United Kingdom. It should also be noted that, since Brexit, the United Kingdom continues to work to strengthen its trade and economic relations with Morocco, which has established itself as the leading exporter of agricultural products to the European Union through the implementation of a first maritime line.

Likewise, last August, Morocco and Britain announced that next October they will carry out joint military exercises that will include the presence of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to the British ambassador in Rabat, Simon Martin.

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"We already have a very important trade for the UK; the main products exported are refined oil, gas, automobiles, aircraft parts and so on. In the other direction, most of Morocco's exports to the UK are vegetables and fresh fruit, that's huge," the ambassador said. We have very complementary economies and with this agreement we have built a structure to identify sectors where we can change the rules, the terms of our economic relationship to increase opportunities for Moroccan investors in the UK, and vice versa," he added.

By opening a consulate in this part of the Sahara, the UK would be the 15th country after the United Arab Emirates to open a consulate general. In the same vein, in 2020, the UAE announced the opening of a consulate general in Al Ayoun, the capital of Western Sahara. With this opening, Morocco has demonstrated its efforts to ensure that Morocco's partner states, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, maintain a close relationship with the Kingdom, not only in diplomatic but also in political matters.

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Thus, countries with significant foreign policy weight already have consular representation in Western Sahara, and another ten have maintained their commitment to establish themselves in the most important cities in the region: El Ayoun and Dakhla, including the United States and Israel.