The opening of a consulate general in Laayoune is an act which is compatible with history and in line with the unwavering position of Cote d 'Ivoire over the Moroccan aspect of the Sahara, said on Tuesday its Minister of African Integration and Ivorian Expatriates Ally Coulibaly.


The decision to open a diplomatic representation in the southern provinces of the Kingdom is part of the "bold and pragmatic policy that we have always defended, everywhere in international forums, namely the Moroccan aspect of the Sahara. We think we are compatible with history," said the Ivorian minister during a joint press briefing with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad Nasser Bourita.


"It goes without saying that Cote d'Ivoire supports the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco, a plan it finds serious and credible," he said.


He pointed out that the inauguration of this diplomatic representation in Laayoune, "the most important city of the Moroccan Sahara", at the door of Africa, is undoubtedly a new milestone in the exceptional relations of several decades between two brotherly countries which appreciate and respect each other", adding that this act reflects the exemplary and privileged aspect of the ties between the two countries.


For the Ivorian minister, this decision is "proof of the steadfast friendship" of the Ivorian people towards the Moroccan people and their feeling of personal affection to HM King Mohammed VI.


This ceremony "magnifies" the bilateral cooperation between the two countries "raised to an unprecedented level by HM King Mohammed VI and H.E. President Alassane Ouattara", he said, stressing that thanks to the vision and leadership of the two heads of state, "the Rabat-Yamoussoukro axis has become a model of South-South cooperation for the benefit of our economic operators and our respective peoples".


"So what could be more normal than associating Laayoune and the consulate general in this dynamic in order to be in line with the multifaceted relations that our two countries have maintained for more than half a century", he said.


After welcoming Morocco's decision to grant 30 additional scholarships to Ivorian students to pursue their training in Laayoune, the minister noted that this consulate will ensure "greater representation" of Cote d'Ivoire in the three regions of the Moroccan south, namely Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla Oued Eddahab.


By taking such a decision, the "noble" ambition of the Ivorian government is to bring the consular administration closer to Ivorian nationals living in these three regions and to strengthen their consular protection, he explained.


Coulibaly pointed out that the initiative taken by Cote d'Ivoire to open a consulate in the provinces of the Moroccan Sahara "helps it to adapt its approaches to changes in the economic and financial environment of Morocco".