Bogotá (Colombia) -The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, on November 15, its approval to open a new embassy for the Sahrawi Republic in Bogota, 100 days after the formation of its new government.
With this declaration, Colombia and the SADR raise their bilateral relations to their highest levels, reaffirming the validity of the joint statement signed with the government of the SADR on February 27, 1985.
The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified the opening of the new Sahrawi diplomatic mission in Bogota as an important contribution that “will strengthen bilateral dialogue and relations between the two countries,” as “an essential component of the Africa Strategy 2022-2026, to ensure a broader presence for Colombia in Africa, and to direct bilateral issues towards memory, historical reparation, and justice ethnic”.
It is worth mentioning that the SADR is the only African country whose territories are still subject to foreign occupation, so the declaration constitutes, in the view of many observers, a good gesture with an African country with deep Latin roots.
Meanwhile, the Colombian President Gustavo Petro denounced, on November 13, in a statement within the framework of the Paris Peace Conference during his interview with France 24 and Radio France International, the double standards of some countries, which classify “foreign occupation as good and bad” and remain resoundingly silent about cases of other. Petro asked “Why, the occupation of Western Sahara has not been condemned, or perhaps, since its people are dark-skinned and speak Spanish, shall we not denounce it?” Colombian President concluded.
This announcement to open a Sahrawi embassy reinforces the recent decision of that country’s legislature body, with the creation of the Colombia-SADR Parliamentary Friendship Group in Bogota, whose founders on October 18, 2022, expressed their desire to “strengthen these relations that are so beneficial to both countries”.
In a related context, the Sahrawi ambassador responsible for relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Mohamed Azroug, affirmed, “The new embassy in Colombia reinforces the strategic choice of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and its commitment to historical, linguistic and cultural ties with the Latin American continent, especially since we have since late In the 1970s, a significant number of embassies and missions established diplomatic relations with most Latin America and Caribbean countries, as they also enjoyed an active and growing solidarity movement with the Sahrawi people.
According to analysts consulted in this regard, the decision of Colombia and other countries in the region to strengthen their diplomatic relations with the Sahrawi Republic is not only due to the commitment and adherence of their governments to international law, but also constitutes “a firm political response and a clear diplomatic response to the Moroccan maneuvers obstructing the process of decolonization in Western Sahara for three decades”, through its resumption of the war against the Saharawi people since November 13, 2020, it also constitutes a “more warning than what is hidden behind its aggressive lobbies that interfere from time to time in the sovereign decisions of countries, with its financing and control from Rabat”.