US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who is visiting Morocco as part of a Maghreb tour, held separate talks Friday in Rabat, with the Minister Delegate in charge of the National Defense Administration, Abdeltif Loudyi, and the Lieutenant General of the Army, Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces Abdelfatah Louarak.
Talks between Abdeltif Loudyi and the US official covered various aspects of bilateral cooperation in the field of national defense, as well as prospects for their development, the FAR General Staff said in a press release.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the strength, excellence, durability and dynamism of bilateral cooperation, and agreed to bolster this cooperation, with focus on the consolidation of common security objectives, in particular, the improvement of military preparedness, the strengthening of skills, and the development of interoperability of forces.
Abdeltif Loudyi also proposed to consolidate military cooperation with the United States by promoting joint investment projects in Morocco in the defense industry sector, in order to promote technology transfer and gradually implement the kingdom’s autonomy strategy in this area.
The Moroccan official, on the other hand, highlighted the constant commitment and multidimensional strategy, led by Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, in the fight against terrorism and the humanist management of migration crisis.
He also underlined Morocco’s role as an actor in regional stability in the Sahel and the Mediterranean, in particular the efforts made by Morocco in the framework of South-South cooperation, for economic development and capacity building of the military forces of several African countries, in particular through training and the exchange of expertise.
The talks between the US Defense Secretary and Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces Abdelfatah Louarak, took stock of bilateral military cooperation, which includes the organization of combined exercises, the exchange of information visits and the participation in various trainings courses.
The two sides highlighted their ambition to develop the centuries-old cooperation relations between the two countries’ armies in the same spirit of friendship and shared trust.
They agreed that the deepening of these relations should materialize through the consolidation of technical cooperation and its diversification to integrate new components to further develop the interoperability of armies and their capacities to effectively face the threats that may arise.
They also pledged to monitor the work of the Morocco-USA Defense Advisory Committee to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.
The high point of this cooperation remains the organization and conduct in Morocco of the combined Moroccan-American exercise “African Lion”, a major exercise, considered among the most important combined exercises in the world.
Morocco is the last leg of the US Defense Secretary’s Maghreb tour that too him to Tunisia and Algeria.