The tour includes stops in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. In Tunisia, the US official will meet on Wednesday with President Qais Saied and his peer Ibrahim Albertaji, before visiting the American military cemetery in Carthage.
On Thursday, Mark Esper will visit Algeria, the first by a US defense secretary since 2006.
The US official is expected on Friday in Morocco, a major non-NATO ally in the region.
Esper’s visit to the Maghreb aims at strengthening US cooperation with the three North African countries to foster regional stability & peace and counter terror threats in the Sahel, Africa, and other regions of the world.
Morocco and US hold regular military exercises, including African Lion, the largest joint military drill in Africa.