The Sahara has started to gain direct support from Morocco’s allies in form of economic investments in the region.
While the Court of the European Union annulled the EU agriculture agreement with Morocco on the grounds that it should not apply to the so-called Western Sahara, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are exploring the potentials southern Morocco provides for their direct investments.
After only two months of the visit of a delegation of investors and businessmen from Saudi Arabia to Laayoune and Dakhla now comes the turn of the Turks. A delegation of Turkish investors led by the chairman of the Turkish Investors’ Council arrived in Laayoune on Wednesday, according to Moroccan news website Yabiladi.
The delegation met first with the mayor of Laayoune Bouchaâb Yahdih , and then held discussions with the president of the region of Laayoune-Saguia El Hamra, Sidi Hamdi oueld Errchid.
The Turkish delegation was introduced to the various investments opportunities the Sahara provides. Turkish investors are believed to be particularly interested in tourism, roads infrastructure, renewable energy, construction sector, and food industry.
The visit of the Turkish delegation of investors to Laayoune reflects the Turkish official support of Morocco’s position on the Western Sahara.
In his visit to Morocco in June 2013, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Turkey does not recognize the Polisario Front, and we support the negotiations under the supervision of the United Nations to find a just solution to the Sahara issue.”
Since 2013, the relations between Morocco and Turkey grew increasingly stronger following the frequent contacts between the King of Morocco Mohammed VI and the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moreover, Morocco and Turkey are now part of an axis comprised the Sunni Islamic states led by Saudi Arabia, which aims to counterbalance Iranian influence in the Middle East.