Jordan set to open consulate in Western Sahara

Jordan is set to open a consulate in the Western Sahara region on Thursday, a Moroccan Foreign Ministry official told Anadolu Agency.

“Jordan will open a general consulate in Laayoune [the largest city of the disputed Western Sahara region] on Thursday,” said the official, who preferred to remain unnamed due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

He said the opening ceremony of the mission is expected to be attended by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

There was no comment from the Jordanian authorities on the report.

Amman said Nov. 20, 2020 that it was planning to open a consulate in Laayoune following a phone call between Moroccan King Mohammed VI and his Jordanian counterpart King Abdullah II.

Jordan will be the third Arab country to open a consulate in the Sahara region after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

Nineteen countries have so far opened diplomatic missions in Western Sahara — 11 in Laayoune and eight in Dakhla, a city in the disputed region.

Occupied by Spain until 1975, Western Sahara has remained the subject of dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front for more than four decades.

After years of conflict, the two parties signed a UN-backed ceasefire in 1991.

The Polisario, a national liberation movement that seeks to end Morocco’s presence in Western Sahara, has long called for a popular referendum to decide the region’s political fate.

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