Rabat – Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita introduced today the Morocco-US Defense Cooperation Roadmap, which concerns military cooperation between the two countries from 2020-2030.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of the National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudyi, signed the agreement Friday at the ministry’s headquarters in Rabat.
The roadmap signals the start of new joint military exercises. The two countries will enhance their information sharing and allow service members to participate in international training courses. The agreement further aims to promote military preparedness between the two nations.
The foreign minister spoke of the difficult context in which the two countries forged the roadmap. The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences have left much in doubt, yet the Morocco-US alliance remains strong. The world is in need of a “visionary long-term approach.”
Bourita went on to describe the Morocco-US Defense Cooperation Roadmap as sharing “our common objectives in terms of security for the next ten years and supports Morocco in its ambitions and its current projects.” The partnership will assist in modernizing Morocco’s defense sector, he emphasized.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is on a tour of North Africa, signing agreements with Tunisia, Algeria, and now Morocco.
The visit aims to improve the “already strong” cooperative ties between the US and Morocco, a senior American official told AFP earlier this week.
The US and Morocco share many common interests in the region. Conflict in the Sahel, regional diplomacy, and military cooperation were all topics of conversation between Morocco’s diplomats and military officials and the visiting US secretary of defense.
The US-Morocco Defense Cooperation Roadmap is set to help build “peace and security starting from the basics,” according to Bourita, who urged for “lasting stability for our peoples.”
Bourita’s office highlighted repeated visits by senior US officials as steps on the common path the two nations have undertaken. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s visit followed recent visits by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senior Advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner, and various other top diplomats.
“Our historic relationship,” Bourita stated, “has been able to withstand the vicissitudes of time.” This long term partnership has prepared the two countries to face the challenges still ahead.”