Visit To Morocco by US Sec. of Defense against Backdrop of Long-standing, Multidimensional and Dynamic Partnership

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Rabat, (MoFA)- The visit to Morocco by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is part of the firm will voiced by His Majesty the King and by President Donald J. Trump to foster the long-standing strategic partnership uniting the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America

Upon Very High Instructions from His Majesty the King, May God Assist Him, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad Mr.Nasser Bourita received, on Friday in Rabat, the American Secretary of Defense.

This visit is also based on a multidimensional partnership, particularly strong given the shared views and analyzes on the various imperatives linked to the fight against terrorism in North Africa and in the Sahel-Saharan region, as essential prerequisites for the consolidation of peace and stability on the continent. Esper's trip to Morocco is also intended to be a new manifestations of efforts led by the Trump Administration to further strengthen its commitment to the African continent notably for the promotion of peace and security and for the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

This US commitment is mirrored in the multifaceted action by the Kingdom in Africa, whether in the Sahel, a fallback zone coveted by terrorist groups claiming to follow Al-Qaeda and ISIS ideologies, or even in the Great Lakes region and in Libya, an issue in which Morocco is leading, under the insightful leadership of His Majesty the King, May God Assist Him , a facilitation hailed by the Kingdom's international partners, including the United States.

Indeed, in a letter to His Majesty the King, May God Assist Him, on the occasion of the Throne Day, President Donald J. Trump, after having reiterated his "commitment to a sovereign and stable Morocco", was delighted to work, together with the Sovereign, "as a leader in Africa and the Arab world, to accelerate the development of the African continent and promote genuine peace in the Middle East".

"During your reign, Morocco and the United States have deepened their precious long-standing alliance in all areas of cooperation," Trump said, adding that the two countries "signed a free trade agreement, fought side by side against the scourge of violent extremism and multiplied the opportunities for a better cultural understanding between our peoples".

In the joint statement after the 4th Morocco-United States Strategic Dialogue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed, in the same vein, the high appreciation of the United States to His Majesty the King for the Sovereign's invaluable and ongoing support on matters of common interest such as peace in the Middle East, stability and development in Africa, as well as regional security.

During this 4th Morocco-United States Strategic Dialogue, Bourita and Pompeo agreed to maintain cooperation between the two countries to make headway in their common interests relating to regional stability and defeat terrorist groups, as ISIS and AQIM.

The US top official thanked, in this context, Morocco, a stable partner and security exporter, for its continued leadership within the Global Counterterrorism Forum and for its leading role within the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS, by building the capacities of the security services in the region, mainly through a common platform for security cooperation.

In addition to the decision-making circles, Morocco has also been, on several occasions, described by the American opinion prescribers as a stable country, provider of security and stability in Africa and well beyond, in favor of an avant-garde strategy adopted by the Kingdom at the civil and military levels.

In line with its special status among Nations, Morocco strives to fully play its role in terms of pooling efforts for the settlement of conflicts in Africa. Being the 12th contributor in the world to UN peacekeeping missions, the Kingdom brought around 2,147 Moroccan peacekeepers in three missions in the continent, namely Minusca in the Central African Republic, Monusco in the Democratic Republic of Congo and UNMISS in South Sudan.

In order to ensure continuity in their respective commitments to peace and stability in Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States are deploying their strategic cooperation for consolidating interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries. This interoperability has been particularly strengthened in recent years through joint military maneuvers backed by an exemplary military cooperation.

Morocco, which is an active member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnerhsip (TSCTP), participates within this framework in the maritime military maneuvers dubbed PHOENIX EXPRESS and in the anti-terrorist military maneuvers FLINTOCK, and hosts the multilateral AFRICAN LION exercises. The Kingdom also co-chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) with Canada and is a member of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

Morocco and the United States thus agree on the centrality of security on the African continent without which no dynamic of development and prosperity can take place. Without security there can be no investment, let alone growth and job creation.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, this Friday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration Abdellatif Loudiyi, and Mark Esper, is in line with the excellent security and defense cooperation between Morocco and the United States, as evidenced in particular by the designation of Morocco in 2004 as a non-NATO strategic ally of the United States

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