Morocco & US Sign ‘Roadmap for Defence Cooperation’

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper visited Morocco. This comes as part of his Africa tour from 30 September to 04 October, which also included Algeria and Tunisia. The US Department of Defense said that "Esper's Africa Visit Aims to Encourage Stability, Interoperability."

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In Morocco, Esper met with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita, Minister for Administration of National Defence Abdellatif Loudiyi, and with Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Lieutenant General Abdelfattah Louarak

The main issues that were discussed in those meetings included regional instability caused by violent extremist groups and coercive foreign activity, and U.S.- Moroccan strategic partnership as part of larger effort to counter instability on the continent, deter threats and decisively act to address shared challenges, said the US DoD in a series of press releases for each of the three aforementioned meetings.

The most prominent agenda item was the signing of the new Roadmap for Defense Cooperation Between the United States and Morocco that will guide cooperation in a range of priority areas, which details cooperation in priority areas including enhancing Moroccan military capacity, deepening interoperability, boosting force readiness, and supporting Morocco’s role in maintaining regional security.

One specific was the importance of Exercise African Lion, which draws participants from across the continent. "It is a key training and exercise event for many, many years, not just between the United States and Morocco," Esper said. The road map charts cooperation between the two nations through 2030.

Security partnership was also one of the points that were discussed in Esper's meeting with Moroccan officials. This partnership includes more than 100 military engagements with the U.S. armed forces annually, including recent bilateral naval and air exercises that demonstrated operational interoperability.

"Now more than ever, our two nations are working closely to tackle the challenges of an increasingly complex security environment ranging from counterterrorism and other transnational threats to regional instability and broader strategic challenges," Esper said. "We do this together to promote the security, the stability and the prosperity of our shared goals and our peoples." 

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