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Implementation of the US Proclamation on Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara

 

Following the historic call between His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and the US President, Mr. Donald Trump on December 10, 2020, a high-level US delegation, led by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. David Schenker and accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita and the US Ambassador to Morocco, Mr. David Fisher, paid on the 10th of January a visit to the Moroccan city of Dakhla in the southern provinces to proceed to the implementation of the US proclamation of Morocco’s full sovereignty on its Sahara, through opening a Consulate General of the USA in Dakhla with an online presence and visiting the premises of this future diplomatic representation.

 

This visit comes within the framework of the proclamation, with all that this act entails as an undeniable legal and political force and with immediate effect, on the decision of the United States of America to recognize, for the first time in its history, the full sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the entire region of the Moroccan Sahara.

 

In this regard, and as the first concrete expression of its sovereign initiative of great importance, the United States of America has decided to open a consulate in Dakhla, with a primarily economic vocation, to encourage U.S. investments and contribution to economic and social development, mainly for the benefit of the inhabitants of the southern provinces.

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita declared that relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America are developing at an unprecedented pace, in line with the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and in coordination with the US administration.

 

According to the Minister, his relationship is based on common principles, history and values, as well as on common interests and a harmonious vision regarding a set of international issues, adding that the strength of this relationship lies in the fact that Morocco may be the only country in the region that has unprecedented mechanisms in its relationship with the United States. In this respect, Mr. Bourita referred to the free trade agreement, the strategic dialogue, the designation of Morocco as a major non-NATO ally of the US, cooperation programs, as well as to several trade and cultural agreements with the United States of America

 

The Minister noted that ties between the two countries are based on four basic pillars, which include first the political and diplomatic component through strategic dialogue and coordination of the two sides' positions that remain very close on many international issues, and secondly the important security and military cooperation between the two countries in the area of combating terrorism and organized crime, as well as coordination between Moroccan security interests and their American counterparts, based on their joint action to achieve security and stability. Mr Bourita underlined that the third pillar consists in the free trade agreement which enabled the volume of bilateral exchanges to be quadrupled since its signing, as it moved from one and a half billion to more than five billion dollars in trade exchanges. As for the fourth pillar, represented by the human component, he highlighted that it includes elements related to training through four or five American schools located in some cities of the Kingdom, as well as agreements in the cultural field and scholarships for Moroccans in the United States, which contribute to creating understanding at the human level between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco.

 

 

During this historic visit, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker commended the leadership of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI in promoting a bold and far-reaching reform agenda, praising His "continued and precious support" on issues of common interest, including peace in the Middle East, stability and development in Africa and regional security as well as in the promotion of religious tolerance,

 

The US senior official added that the American-Moroccan relations are stronger than ever as the best years for them are yet to come, recalling the announcement made by his country to recognize Morocco's full sovereignty over its Sahara.

 

For his part, the US Ambassador to Rabat, Mr. David Fischer declared that his country recognized the inevitable and declared the obvious: the Sahara is Moroccan, and Morocco has the only just and lasting solution to settle the fate of the territory," by referring to the autonomy plan presented by the Kingdom.

 

The US Ambassador also expressed his thanks to His Majesty King Mohammed VI whose strong dedication to the US-Moroccan friendship was essential to make this visit possible.

 

He noted that the US government has already taken a step towards establishing a diplomatic representation in Dakhla, through opening a virtual consulate with an online presence, adding that "this was however only the first step".

 

While recalling that the opening of this US diplomatic representation will bring huge economic opportunities to the region, the US diplomat recalled that every US administration since Bill Clinton has supported the Moroccan autonomy plan as a path to peace.

 

He recalled that the USA has been investing in the future of the southern provinces since many years primarily through funding from the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, which focuses on creating jobs and strengthening civil society.

 

It is worth recalling that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita received on the 9th of January in Laayoune the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. David Shenker in presence of regional and locally elected representatives to discuss ways of strengthening the Moroccan American ties.