The Haitian government on Monday opened a consulate general in the city of Dakhla, in the northwestern African nation of Morocco.
This makes the French-speaking CARICOM country and the first non-Arab and non-African country to open its diplomatic representation in Western Sahara – a display of its recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the region.
The inauguration ceremony of the consulate was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, and the Ambassador of Haiti to Canada, Weibert Arthus.
“This city has become an important diplomatic center with its location, its vocation as a platform towards Sub-Saharan Africa, and its potential and which presents real prospects for regional development,” said Bourita after the ceremony.
Arthus, for his part, expressed Haiti’s wish “to bring together not only the two peoples but also the communities of the two countries, mainly those of Dakhla which are very active” and said Haiti will always defend Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Haiti first announced its decision to open its consulate general in Dakhla on November 24 – the consulate is the 17th of its kind in Morocco’s southern provinces.
Haiti’s diplomatic move comes to concretize its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
During the inauguration ceremony, Bourita told reporters that a year ago, Morocco forecasted only 10 consulates to open in the southern provinces, but that expectation has now doubled.
Morocco’s top diplomat also said that two more consulates could open in Dakhla, in addition to that of the United States.
Bourita affirmed that in addition to the supportive value that these consulates represent for Morocco in the question of Western Sahara, they mark the city of Dakhla as an important diplomatic center, and a bridge between North and sub-Saharan Africa.
Haiti’s consulate general in Dakhla co only two days after the Caribbean country opened its embassy in Morocco’s capital, Rabat, on December 12.
The embassy is Haiti’s second diplomatic representation in Africa, after an embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
During the inauguration of the embassy in Rabat, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Joseph reiterated his support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
He said Morocco is “a true partner” for Haiti, adding that his visit to North Africa will further boost bilateral ties.