Morocco, U.S.A. to convene Strategic Dialogue in Washington in 2019

Morocco and the US agreed to convene the next session of their strategic dialogue in 2019 in Washington DC.

The decision was made at talks held in Washington by Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The next strategic dialogue will cover means of fostering economic and political ties as well as stepping up security cooperation.

The two parties also agreed to cooperate to counter Iran’s funding for terrorist and separatist groups after Rabat severed ties with Tehran over its support to the Algerian-backed Polisario militias.

Bourita who was on a visit to the US on September 17-18 met with other senior U.S. officials in Washington, including President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton as well as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

Nasser Bourita’s talks with John Bolton focused on strengthening the strategic partnership linking the two countries in the political, economic and security fields.

The two officials also discussed regional issues, the situation in North Africa and the Middle East and the latest developments of the Sahara issue.

On the Sahara issue, the US position remains steady considering Morocco’s autonomy plan to end the artificial conflict as a “serious and credible” proposal.

“We maintain that it (the autonomy plan) is serious, realistic and credible and that it is able to satisfy the aspirations of the populations of the Sahara to manage their own affairs in peace and dignity,” said Pablo Rodriguez, an official at the State Department.

Bourita’s visit to Washington comes as the UN Security Council prepares for debating the Sahara issue next Month, with the renewal of the MUNURSO mandate on top of the agenda.

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