The Republic of Zambia opened on Tuesday a Consulate General in the Southern Moroccan city of Laayoune. It is the 8th African diplomatic mission installed in the capital of the Moroccan Sahara in less than a year.
The inauguration ceremony of this consulate was co-chaired by Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zambia, Chalwe Lombe.
The same day, The Kingdom of Eswatini opened its Consulate in Laayoune. The inauguration ceremony was co-chaired by Moroccan top diplomat and his peer of Eswatini, Thulisile Dladla.
The opening of a Consulate General of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Laayoune is a “sovereign act of solidarity and support” for Morocco’s rights over its territorial integrity and sovereignty on its Sahara, underlined Foreign Minister Thulisile Dladla.
“By taking the sovereign decision to open a consulate here in the Moroccan Sahara, we wish to reaffirm, in a political, diplomatic and legal manner, our support for Morocco’s position on this issue,” said the minister during a joint press briefing with her Moroccan peer, following the inauguration ceremony of this diplomatic representation.
Eswatini’s top diplomat added that her visit to Laayoune, which represents “a major turning point” in the promotion of bilateral ties, aims to reiterate the constant position of her country regarding the Moroccanity of the Sahara, noting that the inauguration of this consulate will give a strong impetus to the “historic and solid relations” linking the two Kingdoms, thanks to the vision and the guidelines of the two heads of state, King Mohammed VI and King Mswati III.
“This fraternal coalition” is intended to boost bilateral socio-political and economic cooperation and “to constantly defend the cultures and values” of the two African states, she pointed out.
“The sovereign act of opening on Monday an embassy in Rabat and a consulate tuesday in Laayoune, in the Moroccan Sahara, is inspired by this shared vision of the two Sovereigns,” she noted.
The inauguration of a diplomatic representation in “this integral part of Morocco” will play a central role in strengthening the existing “cordial relations” between the heads of state, governments and peoples of the two friendly countries, she added.
On Monday, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Morocco was inaugurated and the two countries signed an industrial cooperation protocol, as well as a joint declaration of intent on cooperation in the health sector.
Since the end of last year, the Comoros Islands, Gabon, Central African Republic, Sao Tome & Principe, Burundi and Côte d’Ivoire have all opened consular representations in Laayoune.
Other African countries have opened consulates in the Saharan city of Dakhla. These include Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Djibouti, Liberia, Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau.