Tuesday, May 18

The United States stages its support for Morocco with a visit to the Western Shara


Although it was reported that an American consulate was to be inaugurated in the city of Dakhla, Ambassador David Fischer clarifies that they are looking for the appropriate building for the diplomatic headquarters, but that the opening “will be soon”

First visit of a delegation
First visit of a US delegation to the Western Shara.
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The United States has staged this Sunday in Dakhla, south of Western Shara, its effective support for Morocco’s theses on the disputed territory, with the visit of the Undersecretary of State for Middle East affairs, David Schinker.

Although it had been speculated that his visit would serve to inaugurate a consulate of his country in the city, as Donald Trump promised Mohamed VI in a telephone conversation on December 10, the United States ambassador in Rabat, David Fischer, clarified that your country is still looking for the appropriate building for that diplomatic headquartersbut said “be soon”.

For this reason, Schinker’s visit had a rather symbolic value, and served to reiterate the firm support of the United States for the “Moroccanness” of the Shara and for the autonomy plan of Morocco as the only way out of the conflict in the former Spanish colony in dispute with the Polisario Front. It was the first time that an ambassador and a high official had visited the Shara territory, and Morocco did not hesitate to charter a plane and invite dozens of journalists to cover the visit.

In a joint statement with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naser BuritaSchinker was full of praise for King Mohamed VI and his “reign of reforms”, citing in particular “the protection of the Jewish community” of Morocco, a theme that is always highlighted by Americans. With regard to bilateral relations, Schinker recalled several details that make Morocco a particular ally at the level even of Israel, such as the fact that it is on Moroccan soil where the first American consulate (Tangier) was founded or that Morocco is the only one. country in Africa with which the US has a free trade agreement.

At his side, the Moroccan Foreign Minister, pletrician, recalled that his country and the United States are “exceptional partners”, and mentioned the close positions on international issues, even in countries as far away as Iran and Venezuela, where Rabat has aligned itself in recent years with the aggressive policies of Donald Trump. The Moroccan-US free trade agreement has already been renewed four times – Burita remembered – and has reached a volume of bilateral exchanges of 5,000 million dollars.

Following the statements, Schinker and Burita visited a building decorated with the flags of Morocco and the United States and that Rabat present as “provisional consulate”, although Ambassador Fischer clarified that his administration is examining this and other buildings for the future headquarters. Fischer points out that “digital services of a virtual consulate” in Dakhla already exist since last Monday, but that this is only the first step to ensure “a permanent presence.”

Members of Schinker’s team explained to journalists that the role of the consulate will be primarily financial at first, to assist the 150 US companies already established in Morocco or those who dare to come in search of the most promising sectors in the Shara: fishing, renewable energy or tourism.

On the risk that the next US administration of Joe Biden will reverse Trump’s decision to recognize Moroccan sovereignty in the Shara, Schinker did not want to speculate: “Each administration proceeds with its own policy and President Biden will have his,” he said. to Eph. However, sources from his team told reporters that Morocco is too important an ally for the United States to imagine a gesture – backing down on the Shara issue – that would not be well received by the Maghreb country.

None of those who took the floor today made the slightest allusion to the breaking of the ceasefire declared by the Polisario Front on November 14, ignoring the “war” that the Polisario claims to have declared on Morocco since then. In fact, in the city of Dakhla they were invisible signs of conflict, and the numerous police deployment for the visit was the usual one for the Moroccan police in the “southern provinces”, as Rabat calls the Western Shara.

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