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US-Moroccan close security cooperation, facet of enduring relationship- State Department

The US and Morocco have stepped up their defense cooperation as part of enduring bilateral ties, The US State Department said.

After describing Morocco as “vital” partner on a wide range of regional security issues, with a shared goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East and North Africa, the State Department said in a fact sheet on its website that “Morocco is a stalwart partner in multilateral defense.”

The two countries signed deals, most recently in 2007 and 2015 to help “Morocco address regional challenges and the impact of crises in neighboring regions,” it said, adding that “the United States works closely with Morocco to promote regional stability, counter terrorism, strengthen trade and investment ties, and support Morocco’s development and reform efforts.”

The document went on to highlight Morocco’s status as a major non-NATO ally, which enabled it since 2004 to receive priority delivery for Excess Defense Articles (EDA), and benefit from reciprocally funded cooperative training.

Regarding the density of an exceptional military relationship which has continued to strengthen, the State Department underlined that in addition to the various sales of military equipment, the Moroccan-U.S. partnership also includes military support and education and training programs, with the objectives in particular of promoting regional stability and fighting terrorism.

The paper also lauds Morocco’s peacekeeping engagement as one of the top ten contributors to UN blue helmets. Morocco currently deploys 1,718 peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan.

“Morocco plays a leading role in the United States’ counterterrorism efforts,” it said, adding that since 2005, Morocco has been a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership—a U.S. government funded and implemented effort designed to counter violent extremism in the Sahara-Sahel region.

“Furthermore, Morocco was the first Maghreb country to join the anti-ISIS Global Coalition in 2014 and currently serves as the co-chair of the Coalition’s Africa Focus Group,” it said.

The paper also highlights the importance of the US-Moroccan military exercises known as the African Lion.

“Under U.S. Africa Command since 2008, African Lion has become the largest joint military exercise on the continent, with thousands of troops participating annually”


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