Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’Apala, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reaffirmed his country’s support for the Sahara Autonomy Plan within the scope of Morocco’s territorial integrity on Thursday in Marrakech.
Mr. Lutundula Apala Pen’Apala reiterated the DRC’s support for the Autonomy Plan in the Sahara within the framework of the Kingdom of Morocco’s territorial integrity, which is why it has appointed a Consul General in Dakhla, in a joint statement issued after his talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Abroad, Mr. Nasser Bourita, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
In this regard, he reaffirmed the DRC’s support for the search for a lasting solution by preserving the Kingdom of Morocco’s territorial integrity, unity, and sovereignty under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations, in accordance with decision 693 of the African Union’s Summit of Heads of State and Government in July 2018, which recognized such exclusivity to the UN with a view to resolving the regional conflict over the Sahara.
The minister praised the Kingdom’s support to the Congolese government’s and international community’s efforts to promote peace, democracy, security, and development in the country.
Mr. Bourita, speaking on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco, praised His Excellency President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo’s initiatives and actions as President of the African Union (AU) during his mandate to consolidate the security, independence, territorial integrity, and unity of all African States and the continent as a whole.
He also praised the DRC’s commitment to the international community’s efforts to promote peace and regional stability, as well as the trust it has as a subregional actor devoted to security and the fight against terrorism and armed organizations.
Mr. Bourita applauded His Excellency President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo’s efforts to restore peace and security in eastern DRC, and congratulated him on his membership in the East African Community (EAC).
The Moroccan minister stated that the Kingdom fully supports the Nairobi process, which is being led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current EAC Chairman, with the goal of neutralizing the negative forces that cause insecurity in the DRC’s east and the Great Lakes sub-region and restoring peace.
He urged the African Union and the United Nations to support the East African Community’s leaders, particularly by participating actively in the quick execution of the peace plan drafted by the heads of state of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The two ministers also emphasized the importance of improving communication and coordination at multilateral platforms such as the African Union and the United Nations in order to align diplomatic actions at these levels with official positions taken by the two countries on a variety of issues of mutual interest.
In the same spirit, the two parties voiced their commitment to supporting, in a concerted and mutual manner, Moroccan and Congolese candidacies at the level of regional and international organizations.
In this regard, Mr. Bourita thanked his Congolese counterpart for the support provided by the DRC to the election of the Kingdom of Morocco as a member of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union for the period 2022-2025 and expressed willingness to support the DRC’s candidacy for the post of non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, for the period 2026-2027.
The two ministers stressed the interest shown by the Heads of State in the development of relations of cooperation and economic partnership between the two brotherly countries.
Mr. Bourita reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to support the DRC in its development efforts, particularly in areas with a strong socio-economic impact, including agriculture, health, water, electricity and renewable energies.
The two officials agreed to form cooperative sectoral committees to develop actual initiatives and action plans in the chosen sectors.
While welcoming the establishment of a Morocco-DRC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIMC) in February 2020, the two countries agreed to hold the 6th Morocco-DRC Joint Commission of Cooperation and the Morocco/DRC Economic Forum in 2022, with the goal of promoting trade and economic exchanges between the two countries and utilizing the Congolese consular’s presence in Dakhla, which is expected to become a regional economic hub.