Benin reiterated on Tuesday its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity, while reaffirming its backing for the autonomy plan initiative presented by the Kingdom, which constitutes the only credible and realistic solution for resolving this dispute. This position was expressed in a joint statement issued following talks in Rabat between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, and his Beninese peer Olushegun Adjadi Bakari. Bakari also expressed Benin’s support for the efforts of the United Nations as the exclusive framework for achieving a realistic, practical and lasting solution to the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, the joint statement added. He said that he will visit Dakhla in the Moroccan Sahara as soon as possible, to see at first hand the economic and social boom and the political and democratic momentum in the region. This visit, according to the same source, will provide an opportunity to forge partnerships and visit socio-economic investment and infrastructure projects, such as the Dakhla-Atlantic port project, which highlight the progress made in implementing the New Development Model for the Southern Provinces, launched in 2015 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God Assist Him. For his part, Bourita commended this decision, while thanking the Beninese party for its constant support for the Moroccan Sahara issue and welcoming the supportive stance shown by Benin, which was reflected in its participation, on January 15, 2021, in the Ministerial Conference in support of the Autonomy Initiative under Moroccan sovereignty, at the invitation of Morocco and the United States.
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