US, Morocco Renew Alliance With Signing of Defense Cooperation Road Map

On Friday, Morocco and the United States renewed the alliance between the two nations as a foundational stone for peace in Africa.

Morocco is one of America’s oldest friends. It recognized the United States while it was still battling for independence in 1777.

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita signed the defense cooperation road map in Rabat, Morocco. This road map charts cooperation between the two nations through 2030.

The country does remain a critical partner on a range of security issues. “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. We do this together to promote the security, the stability and the prosperity of our shared goals and our peoples,” said Esper.

The goal is to continually reinforce America’s long-standing and steadfast commitment to Morocco and, by extension, to Africa. Morocco is a major non-NATO ally, and the country’s strategic location makes it a gateway to Africa.

“Morocco is a country we have been friends with for many, many years, and I am confident that we will remain friends and strategic partners for generations to come,” Esper said.

Throughout the discussion with a range of Moroccan leaders, they touched on many issues. This included regional problems, economic issues and more. All of the progress made in other areas is enabled by security, said Esper.

“We cannot accomplish this unless we also continue to advance peace and stability and security across the continent. We must do so by strengthening our defense partnerships with African governments,” said Esper.

This road map will allow the United States and Morocco to improve defense cooperation, partnerships and interoperability.

One specific aspect is 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,” said Esper.

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and staff meet with Moroccan military leaders at the Ministry of Defense in Rabat, Morocco.

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