Moroccan Sahara: Israeli Recognition to Strengthen Peace and Development in the Region – Former Portuguese Minister –

The State of Israel’s decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara will strengthen peace, stability and development in the region, said former Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Paulo Portas. Israel’s recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara is an “important step” that will promote the values of tolerance and coexistence in a “secure and stable” region, Portas told MAP. According to the former Defense Minister, Israel’s decision comes in the wake of the momentum and broad international support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative. The autonomy plan presented by the Kingdom will continue to enjoy international support, in the sense that it is “the only realistic solution” and constitutes “a good basis” for settling this regional dispute, he stressed, adding that the Moroccan initiative will make it possible to offer a decent life to the population, within a framework of peace, tranquillity and development. He also pointed out that the opening of consulates in the Kingdom’s southern provinces by African, Arab and Latin American countries is clear proof of growing international support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and firm backing for the Kingdom’s southern provinces. In addition, the former minister highlighted the development boom and economic dynamism in the Kingdom’s southern provinces, particularly in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, stressing that with this dynamism, the Moroccan Sahara has today become a veritable commercial and tourist hub in the region, as well as a gateway to Africa.