Gabon FM Reaffirms Support for Morocco’s Territorial Integrity

In January 2020, Gabon expressed its support for Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara by opening a consulate general in Laayoune.

Gabon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya, reiterated from Rabat his country’s support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.

Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, received his Gabonese counterpart on Wednesday, October 28. Moubelet-Boubeya’s visit is the first of its kind since his appointment as foreign minister in July.

“Like we have recently expressed before the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, Gabon is by Morocco’s side and reaffirms its support for the ongoing political process in the Sahara,” Moubelet-Boubeya said during a joint press conference.

On October 22, Gabon’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Michel Xavier Biang, expressed his country’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara.

The autonomy initiative suggests turning Morocco’s southern provinces into a semi-autonomous region. The local population would manage questions related to social, economic, and political development. Meanwhile, Morocco’s central government would handle issues of national interest, such as defense and diplomacy.

Morocco’s Autonomy Plan “is undoubtedly the best approach and a compromise solution par excellence” for the Western Sahara issue, Biang said before the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee.

Read also: Western Sahara: Gabon Expresses Trust in Morocco’s Autonomy Plan

In Wednesday’s press conference, the Gabonese FM reaffirmed his country’s stance and welcomed the “excellent, friendly, and brotherly” relations between Morocco and Gabon.

Moubelet-Boubeya also welcomed the “very exceptional relationship” between King Mohammed VI and Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

The Gabonese diplomat spoke highly of Morocco’s “diplomatic offensive” in Africa, recalling that King Mohammed VI has made in total 53 visits to more than 30 African countries. The royal visits led to the signature of over 1,000 agreements between Morocco and its African partners.

Meanwhile, Minister Bourita presented how Morocco’s pan-African vision translates into the business sector.

Morocco’s FM mentioned the important presence of Moroccan companies in more than 42 African countries, including Gabon. He also highlighted the 60% increase in trade between Morocco and other African states over the past 10 years.

Gabon is one of Morocco’s main African supporters in the Western Sahara issue. The Central African country was among the first states to open a consulate general in Morocco’s southern provinces in January 2020.

Read also: FM: Royal Vision Behind Morocco’s Diplomatic Breakthroughs in Western Sahara