UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres detailed the events in Morocco’s southern regions in the Moroccan Sahara in his last report to the UN Security Council.
Dakhla port and the Tiznit-Dakhla highway infrastructure project were included in the report as development projects.
In recent years, Morocco has begun a slew of development projects in its southern provinces, including large-scale infrastructure projects like the Dakhla Atlantic Port.
Morocco launched the tender for the Atlantic Port project on April 30, according to Mr Guterres, who also stated that development of the port is “underway.”
The port aims to assist a variety of businesses in the region, including mining, energy, tourism, and trade, with the ultimate goal of turning Dakhla and Southern Morocco into a regional economic hub.
The project is part of Morocco’s new development strategy and is expected to cost MAD 12.4 billion ($1.37 billion).
In addition, the UN Secretary-General informed the Security Council that work on a highway connecting Tiznit and Dakhla is continuing.
The project’s completion rate had reached 38 % by February of the current year.
The infrastructure project entails expanding National Route No. 1 between Tiznit and Laayoune, as well as building a new road between Laayoune and Dakhla.
The Tizinit-Dakhla roadway, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of this year and will cover a distance of 1,055 kilometers, is predicted to cost $1.1 billion.
Mr. Guterres’ report also acknowledged Morocco’s diplomatic progress in recent years, such as certain nations’ choice to open consulates in the country’s southern regions of Laayoune and Dakhla.
Burkina Faso, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Jordan, Libya, Malawi, Senegal, Suriname, the United Arab Emirates, and Zambia have all opened consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces, according to the UN chief’s report.
A total of 26 nations have opened diplomatic representations in the region since December 2019, demonstrating their commitment to Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The UN report on Morocco’s Sahara also mentioned the United States’ decision to acknowledge Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.
Former US President Donald Trump announced his country’s intention to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Moroccan Sahara on December 10, 2020.
Trump also stressed that Morocco’s Autonomy Plan, which was submitted to the United Nations in 2007, is a real and credible solution to the dispute.
Many pro-Polisario observers predicted that a new US government would reconsider the recognition and finally reject it. The Biden administration, on the other hand, has consistently signaled its determination to uphold Trump’s decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern region in recent months.
Mr. Guterres’ report also included the United States’ decision to open a virtual consulate in Dakhla, Morocco, on December 29, 2020.
Former US Ambassador to Morocco, Mr. David Fischer, paid a visit to the region at the inauguration and wore a Sahrawi dress to honor the US decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory.
The UN chief also mentioned trips to Dakhla and Laayoune by international diplomatic delegations in his report.
From June 24-26, a group of representatives from Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen visited the region to examine investment potential.
The UN Secretary-General has previously emphasized investments in Morocco’s southern provinces. In reality, Morocco’s development projects in the Moroccan Sahara are mentioned for the fourth year in a row in the annual report on the Moroccan Sahara.