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Foreign Minister: Autonomy Initiative represents new opportunity for lasting resolution of Moroccan Sahara issue

Foreign Minister: Autonomy Initiative represents new opportunity for lasting resolution of Moroccan Sahara issue

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, participated today in the Virtual Ministerial in Support of the Autonomy Initiative Under Moroccan Sovereignty, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates in the Kingdom of Morocco, in cooperation with the US State Department, with the participation of a large number of countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked Morocco and the US for organizing this important event, adding that it clearly demonstrates the wide international support for resolving the Moroccan Sahara issue and for the territorial integrity of the brotherly Kingdom of Morocco. He noted that the participation of many states in this meeting underlines the importance of this issue and its significant implications for peace, stability and prosperity across the wider region.

The Minister noted that the past year has demonstrated a clear momentum in the Middle East to resolve outstanding issues and to build a better future for all its countries and peoples. He expressed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s confidence in the Initiative and how it plays an important part in the process, underlining appreciation to all those who have helped achieve it.

The Minister affirmed that under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Bahrain and Morocco share a longstanding and close friendship, and have always been keen to further strengthen these ties across all fields.

He added that Bahrain has maintained a firm position on the Moroccan Sahara issue, pointing out that it has repeatedly and publicly underlined its support for the territorial integrity and national unity of the Kingdom of Morocco. He also highlighted the recent GCC Summit, held in Al-Ula on 5 January 2021, and how it clearly demonstrated that this support is fully shared by the GCC.

The Minister pointed out that the Kingdom of Bahrain reaffirms that the Moroccan Sahara region is Moroccan territory under Moroccan sovereignty, and that the best, most sustainable solution to the issue is this Autonomy Initiative, noting that Bahrain gave a practical example of this support with its decision to open a General Consulate in the Moroccan city of Laayoune, which was inaugurated last month. He also affirmed that Bahrain also welcomes the United States’ opening of a consulate in Al-Dakhla, and its recognition of the Kingdom of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Moroccan Sahara.

The Minister also highlighted that the Autonomy Initiative represents a new opportunity for a lasting resolution of the Moroccan Sahara issue, welcoming the growing Arab, regional and international support it has received. He also expressed Bahrain’s sincere hope that other parties join this movement towards development, peace and prosperity in the Moroccan Sahara and beyond, which brings about a permanent settlement to the conflict, and opening a new chapter of peace and stability for the entire region.


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