US Official: Morocco Remains US’ Main Partner in Fight Against Terrorism

US Secretary of Health  Alex Azar

Rabat – US Secretary of Health  Alex Azar renewed his country’s determination to strengthen diplomatic relations with Morocco.

On Tuesday, July 30,  the US official said that Morocco and the US share “very strong ties.”

Azar extolled Morocco’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism, emphasizing that the North African country is one of the main counterterrorism partners for the US.

The official made his remarks on US-Morocco diplomatic relations during a reception held in Washington D.C for the 20th anniversary of the Throne Day, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

The US is a staunch supporter of Morocco’s counterterrorism strategy.  

In its 2018 Country Reports on Terrorism, the US  Department of State said that Morocco  has a “comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation.”

Morocco introduced a new security unit called the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) as part of its strategy to modernize its security system to fight radicalization and organized crime in the wake of the 2011 Marrakech terror attack.

The US official also lauded Morocco’s UN peacekeeping operation.

The promotion of stability in Africa, he said, “could not be achieved without more than 2,000 soldiers with whom Morocco has contributed to UN peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Southern Sudan.”

In addition to security, the US and Morocco also aim to reinforce their trade activities with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The US and Morocco signed the FTA on June 15, 2004. It came into effect on January 1, 2006.

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Azar emphasized the importance of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, saying that trade has increased by more than 300% since the FTA came into force in 2006.

“There are more than 150 American companies currently active in Morocco, investing in energy, infrastructure, aviation, pharmaceuticals, and environmental technology,” he said. 

Azar’s statement came after US pResident Donald Trump and his US Secretary of State addressed congratulatory messages to Morocco on Throne Day.

In their messages, Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo both reiterated the US’ unwavering support for Morocco, emphasizing their willingness to reinforce cooperation with Morocco in several areas, including security.

Despite the strong diplomatic relations between the two countries, the US is still waiting for its senate to approve Trump’s request to appoint David Fischer as his ambassador to Morocco.