US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, arrived this Saturday morning, January 9 in Laayoune, capital of the Moroccan Sahara, before flying Sunday to Dakhla for kickstarting the process of establishing a US consulate in the Saharan city.
Shortly after arrival, the US official toured the city’s diplomatic district which hosts the consulates of several countries. He also visited the headquarters of the United Nations mission in the Sahara (MINURSO).
The US Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker had reiterated while on a visit to Algiers Thursday Washington’s support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara.
Schenker said at a press conference following talks with Algeria’s Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum that political dialogue on the basis of Morocco’s autonomy initiative is the only solution to the dispute.
The US official said that his country’s recognition of Morocco’s territorial integrity was a step towards resolving the Sahara question on the basis of the autonomy initiative.
The US Assistant Secretary of State arrived in Rabat on Friday evening for a four-day working visit to Morocco that will highlight by kickstarting the process of establishing a US consulate in the Saharan city.
The American Consulate, meant to promote economic and business opportunities in the region and beyond in Africa, will host an office for the “Africa Prosperity” initiative in order to facilitate the access of American investors to the southern regions. The move falls within the framework of the royal vision seeking to make of the Sahara a gateway to Africa for international investors, including from the United States.