Portuguese expert and journalist Leonídio Paulo Ferreira, called on his country to strengthen its position on the Moroccan Sahara and follow Madrid’s example by taking a similar step regarding the autonomy initiative. Paulo Ferreira, deputy director of Portugese newspaper Diário de Notícias, says in an article entitled “The Royal speech and Portugal” published on Monday, that this step would strengthen bilateral relations between ٌthe two countries. Portugal, he notes, has every interest in closely following the evolution of relations between its two neighbors, Morocco and Spain, in light of the recognition by the government in Madrid of the Moroccan autonomy initiative in the Sahara. On the other hand, the Portuguese expert stresses that Portugal also has important economic relations with Morocco, one of the most diversified economies in Africa, describing the climate of cooperation between the two countries as very good. He also noted that the Royal Speech referred to Portugal among the countries that adopt constructive positions regarding the autonomy initiative. In this context, Mr. Paulo Ferreira says that it is now up to Portuguese diplomacy to clarify the scope of this reference, decisive for relations with Morocco. In this sense, the Portuguese expert recalls that His Majesty King Mohammed VI stated in his speech that Morocco’s relations with all countries are determined by their positions on the Moroccanness of the Sahara. He also indicated that the Royal Speech was an occasion during which the Sovereign reviewed some developments that have occurred recently on the Sahara issue, mentioning in this regard the opening of a number of consulates in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla by a number of countries, including the majority of the African continent and the Arab region.
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