UAE to open consulate in Morocco-controlled Western Sahara

A statement by the Royal Cabinet in Rabat, Morocco, announced that the Emirates will be the first Arab country to open a consulate in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara.

The statement issued on Wednesday indicated that the consulate will be in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.

The announcement came after a phone call between Moroccan King Mohammed VI and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s decision may help mobilise the support of Arab allies to achieve international recognition of Morocco’s ownership of Western Sahara, since the kingdom has sought by all means to diplomatically obtain it.

Around 15 African countries have opened consulates in Western Sahara, including the authorities of Zambia and Eswatini, who inaugurated state offices in the area on Tuesday.

Western Sahara has been controlled by the Moroccan authorities since the end of Spanish colonial rule there in 1974. Meanwhile, the Polisario Front backed by Algeria has been pressing for the acquisition of the region.

Algeria: Western Sahara conflict is a colonialism issue