The United Arab Emirates opened Wednesday its consulate general in Laayoune, southern Morocco, making it the first Gulf consulate in the Sahara.
UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced the opening of the consulate in a speech via videoconferencing, reiterating that it reflects the long-standing historical relations and a strategic partnership between the two countries.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita and UAE Ambassador to Rabat Saeed Ahmed al-Dhaheri.
The UAE Minister hoped the consulate will play an important role in exploring economic opportunities, expanding areas of understanding, and encouraging cooperation between the two countries.
“I would like to point out that this step is a reflection of the UAE's long-standing historical relations and a strategic partnership based on the highest levels established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and King Hassan II since 1971 and strengthened by the UAE's participation in the ‘Green March,” Sheikh Abdullah was quoted by WAM.
The minister added that these ties have been further strengthened in recent years, following the efforts of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, VP and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Abdullah reiterated his country's support to Morocco in its regional and international causes, noting that it is “a reflection of the sincere brotherly bonds and the fruitful cooperation and active solidarity that unite the UAE and Morocco.”
Moreover, Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE values the leading role of King Mohammed VI in coordinating and consulting with the UAE leadership to help achieve security, stability, and peace in the region.
The minister also indicated that this relates to exchanging views to reach a common vision through which both societies can live a decent life filled with optimism and hope, while overcoming the challenges that hinder development.
For his part, Ambassador Dhaheri said that the opening of a general consulate in Laayoune constitutes an opportunity to further motivate bilateral relations for effective and fruitful cooperation.
The diplomat added that the UAE consulate would strengthen bilateral relations at all levels of trade, economic, investment and cultural exchange between the two brotherly countries.
He stressed that the joint concern of the leadership of the two countries will further develop relations in order to serve and promote their common interests.