Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, is set to host a meeting in the southern city of Laayoune, bringing together foreign ministers from twelve Pacific countries.
The meeting, due to take place on February 22, will be the first in a series of talks and joint commissions the FM plans to host in Laayoune.
The location of the meeting, in Morocco’s southern region of Western Sahara, reflects the increasing international support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The choice of Laayoune as a venue for Bourita’s talks with the Pacific ministers comes after a set of diplomatic wins for Morocco.
Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, and Comoros have all recently inaugurated diplomatic missions in Morocco’s southern cities of Laayoune and Dakhla.
The choice to open the consulates came as a clear declaration of support for Morocco’s sovereignty in Western Sahara.
Announcing the upcoming meeting at a press conference at the new Gambian consulate, Bourita said the decision of the foreign ministers from the Pacific states to meet in Laayoune is a testament to the support they have for the “Moroccan identity of the Sahara” and for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan.
Bourita concluded that the meeting, where the foreign ministers are set to discuss ongoing bilateral cooperation, marks the start of a new era for Moroccan Diplomacy. “it is the beginning of the implementation of this diplomatic reality,” he said.
Both Morocco’s neighboring country Algeria and representatives of breakaway group the Polisario Front responded to Morocco’s recent diplomatic gains with hostile messages, questioning the validity of the newly inaugurated diplomatic missions in the southern Moroccan cities.
Only time will tell whether the Morocco-Pacific FMs meeting will prompt a similar response.