MAP - Friday, November 29th 2019

U.S. Reiterates Importance of Morocco as ‘Key Partner in all Areas’

Washington - The United States reiterated the importance of strengthening the "longstanding" relationship with Morocco, a "key partner in all areas". A senior US official said Wednesday in Washington that Morocco, a leader on the African continent, is an important interlocutor for peace in the Middle East, a source of stability in the Mediterranean and a major partner in the fight against terrorism and for the promotion of tolerance across the world.

"I want to start by underlining the importance we attach to our longstanding relationship with Morocco,” said this senior official of the US Department a day after the announcement of the official visit by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Morocco in early December. “Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States and to host our first diplomatic mission to Tangier,” he pointed out, adding that the kingdom “is also a key partner for us in all areas, a leader on the African continent, an important interlocutor for peace in the Middle East and a source of stability in the Mediterranean.”

"We appreciate their continued partnership, especially in our multilateral effort to defeat Daesh, and we appreciate Morocco's continued efforts to promote sustainable economic development by prioritizing the inclusion of women in the labor force." In this regard, the US official recalled the recent visit to Morocco of Ivanka Trump, advisor to US President Donald Trump, while welcoming the importance of the free trade agreement between the two countries that achieve $ 4.5 billion in bilateral exchanges.

After recalling several cooperation projects in various fields, he said that the upcoming visit of Pompeo to the Kingdom will highlight "the close and century-long links" between the two countries. The US Secretary of State is "looking forward to meeting with senior Moroccan officials," he said.

For the United States, Morocco is a key partner in the fight against terrorism, he said, adding that the Kingdom is an "excellent partner" and "a leader" in the fight against violent extremism. In this regard, he said that the Kingdom will host the Warsaw Process working group against terrorism in February.

"We are leading (with Morocco) some of the most robust military exercises in the region. They host AFRICOM's largest multi-lateral training exercises," he said. Regarding the role of the Kingdom at the regional level, he noted that "Morocco plays an important role in the region as an important partner in the promotion of tolerance".

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced Tuesday in Washington that he will travel in early December to Morocco, "one of the strongest partners of the United States in the region." "I look forward to reviewing our countries' strong economic and security partnership and discussing future areas of cooperation," said Pompeo.