Bahrain opens a consulate in Western Sahara


Bahrain opens a consulate in Western Sahara

Since the end of 2019, at least eleven States have taken this step, which Rabat interprets as a gesture of support for its controversial sovereignty over the region

The president of the National Security Council of Israel, Meir Ben Shabbat (l), and the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Abdulatif bin Rashid al Zayani (r), after the signing of the agreement to normalize relations / EP

Just four days after Donald Trump recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Bahrain announced on Monday its intention to open a consulate in Laayoune. The king, Hamad bin Isa Al Jalifa, an ally of the US president, issued a decree for the establishment of the legation in the former Spanish colony in dispute with the Polisario Front. Bahrain will become the third Arab country to open a consulate after Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), three nations allied to the United States in the Middle East and with peace agreements with Israel that also have a presence in a territory classified as “non-autonomous »For the United Nations, which occupies and administers Rabat.

In addition to these Arab countries, Morocco has launched an intense diplomatic campaign in recent months to get African countries to choose El Aaiún or Dakhla to open consulates. Since the end of 2019, at least eleven States have taken this step: Central African Republic, São Tomé, Gabon, Guinea, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Comoros, Zambia, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Burundi. Rabat interprets the inauguration of each headquarters as a gesture of support for its sovereignty over Western Sahara, a further step in its attempt to “Moroccanize” the area in the face of the United Nations blocking the conflict.

Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords last September at the White House, officially normalizing its relations with Israel. The small kingdom of the Gulf followed a path opened by the UAE to which Sudan and Morocco have also joined. The next on the list, according to the Israeli media, could be Oman and from the Jewish state they trust that Saudi Arabia will not delay in establishing diplomatic relations either.


The US Government is the promoter of these agreements by which, in exchange for normalizing relations with Israel, it offers important compensation to the signatories. In the case of Morocco, the Americans recognized their sovereignty over Western Sahara and put billions in investments and the sale of state-of-the-art drones on the table, according to the newspaper ‘The New York Times’ and the Reuters agency .

In the case of Sudan, Washington promised to remove it from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, a key step for the authorities in Khartoum to access international financing. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, reported that the necessary 45 days have elapsed since the notification to Congress and confirmed the removal of Sudan from this black list. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok celebrated on Twitter that “after three decades of global isolation we join the international community as a peaceful nation that supports global stability.”


Donald Trump, UN, White House, Twitter