Côte d'Ivoire reiterates its support to Morocco’s Western Sahara initiative

Stronger ties

Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara reiterated Wednesday that the Moroccan initiative to grant large autonomy to Western Sahara is “an appropriate solution to definitively settle the conflict,” read the joined statement issued on the occasion of the official visit of King Mohammed VI to Abidjan.
Moroccan and Ivorian leaders stressed that the persistence of this conflict is a potential threat to the territorial integrity and security of the states in the region and a serious hindrance to the development of a consistent regional integration aspirations of the African people, said the statement.
Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975, and has proposed broad autonomy for the phosphate-rich territory under its sovereignty.
But this is rejected by the Polisario Front, which insists on the right of the Sahrawi people to a referendum on self-determination and launched its struggle for independence even before the annexation.
A guerrilla war lasted until 1991 when the United Nations brokered a ceasefire, but a permanent settlement remains elusive.
Ouattara reiterated his country’s consistent position and stressed that the broad autonomy of Western Sahara was a suitable solution for the final settlement of the conflict. Côte d'Ivoire’s National Assembly speaker thanks Morocco’s support
The President of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire, Guillaume Soro, thanked King Mohammed VI for his support to his country during difficult times.

Soro holding talks with King Mohammed VI

"I had a duty of gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI who stood beside Côte d'Ivoire during difficult times and the post-election crisis," said Soro following his meeting with the monarch.
The former Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire praised the King’s action to ensure the progress and development of Morocco.
“The King is a modern ruler who transformed his country which now has its weight in the world,” said Soro.
He also welcomed King Mohammed VI’s visit as an important step toward reviving the South-South cooperation. King Mohammed VI receives Côte d'Ivoire’s religious leaders
King Mohammed VI received Wednesday at the royal residence in Abidjan a delegation of the episcopal conference of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), led by its president, Bishop Alexis Touabli Youbo.
Youbo welcomed the Moroccan monarch’s commitment to promoting dialogue between different religions for the sake of peace in the world.
Youbo praised the King’s determination to boost ties between Morocco and Côte d'Ivoire

“His Majesty the King stressed the need for different religions to cooperate and work together for peace in the world ', "said Youbo, at the end of a meeting granted by King Mohammed VI to the delegation of Ivorian bishops.
The monarch told the delegation that he appreciated the role played by religious leaders to provide support to African countries.
Youbo praised the King’s determination to boost “the excellent ties between Morocco and Côte d'Ivoire.
King Mohammed VI also received a delegation of the Higher Council of Imams of Côte d'Ivoire led by its president Sheikh Fofana Boikary.