Morocco

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Rabat - King Mohammed VI addressed today a cable of congratulations to US President Joe Biden on Independence Day.

In the message, the King of Morocco conveyed the country’s “warm congratulations” to Biden and extended his “sincere wishes for further progress and prosperity for the American people.

He also expressed “great pride” in historical relations binding the two countries based on “solid friendship, mutual esteem and active solidarity.”

Reiterating his “firm determination” to work together with Biden to boost relations and to strengthen partnership to meet the aspirations of the American and Moroccan peoples, King Mohammed VI emphasized Morocco’s constant desire to establish dialogue, consultation and coordination with the US. He described the US as a friendly country with which Morocco has long worked to ensure regional security, peace, and stability. 

Morocco and the US share good diplomatic relations, which have further strengthened over the past months following the American recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

In December 2020, former US President Donald Trump announced a proclamation recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed region and backing the country’s territorial integrity against separatism claims from the Polisario Front.

Biden’s administration has to date upheld the decision, with US government websites adopting the full map of Morocco to reflect support for the country’s territorial integrity.

In addition, the two countries work together in different fields, including trade, security, counterterrorism, among others.

One marker of the close Morocco-US security cooperation is the two countries’ joint organization of the African Lion, one of the largest annual military maneuvers in the world. 

This year, the armed forces of over 20 countries joined their US and Moroccan counterparts to take part in the African Lion exercise in five cities across Morocco. Among other goals, the exercise seeks to strengthen participating armed forces’ interoperability capacities and further facilitate intelligence sharing to counter terrorism and emerging global security threats. 

With the US considering Morocco’s approach against terrorism as comprehensive, the two countries have over the past few years repeatedly expressed determination to continue to boost their counterterrorism cooperation. 

Abdellatif Hammouchi, the general director of Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security and Territorial Surveillance (DGSN-DGST) visited the US recently, where he held several meetings with senior officials against security challenges.

Beyond the security realm, Morocco and the US have also taken significant steps to strengthen their economic partnership through the establishment of a free trade agreement (FTA) that has been operational since 2006.

In March, the US Charge d'Affaires in Rabat, David Greene, said that the FTA has enormously improved US-Morocco trade and that over 120 American companies currently operate in Morocco.

Meanwhile, the Office of the US Trade Representative has documented that “since the entry into force of the FTA, the U.S. goods trade surplus with Morocco has risen to $1.8 billion in 2011, up from $79 million in 2005 (the year prior to entry into force).” 

Source:Morocco World News

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Last month, Russia marked June 22, the date Operation Barbarossa – or Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union – began in 1941. As a former American officer from a military family, whose close ancestors fought in World War II, I could not but reflect on why in America the date that war began for us – December 7, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor – is not observed as solemnly as June 22 is in Russia.

My father was a career Air Force officer, which meant that when I was a child we moved from place to place, depending on the needs of the service. In the early 1970’s, we were fortunate to be stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. My father was assigned to the headquarters of the US Pacific Air Force. The building he worked in bore the bullet holes made when Japanese aircraft strafed it during the attack. These scars of war, together with similar holes in the wooden banister of the interior staircase, were retained as part of an official policy designed to instill the mantra, 'Never Again' in everyone who saw them.   

The other constant reminder of Japanese perfidy existed across Pearl Harbor Bay, off Ford Island, where on December 7, 1941, the US Pacific Fleet was moored. There, one could find the rusting hulls of the USS Arizona and USS Utah, left where they sank, a permanent cemetery for the thousands of sailors who lost their lives in the Japanese surprise attack. Over the remains of the USS Arizona a white structure had been built, a memorial to those lost that day. One could reach it by ferry. I visited it often, and always found myself staring at the holes in the ship’s structure where the massive turrets containing the Arizona’s mighty 14-inch guns had been mounted. I took solace in the thought that one of these turrets had been recovered and re-mounted on the USS Nevada and was used to bombard Japanese positions during the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa; even as a child, one can learn to hate, especially when gazing upon the graves of so many.

My grandmother on my father’s side came to visit us while we were in Hawaii. Her husband, Irving Ritter, had served in the US Air Corps during the first World War, flying Curtiss ‘Jenny’ fighters (the war ended before he could be sent to the front). Irving and my grandmother had three children: Helen, Shirley, and my father. Helen married a Marine Corps veteran of the battle of Iwo Jima, and Shirley married a US Army weatherman who was crippled in a training accident before he could participate in a covert mission behind enemy lines in Burma to collect climate data used to direct US bombing attacks on the Japanese. My father was too young for World War Two, but he served a tour in Vietnam, and was now in Hawaii.

My grandmother insisted that we visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. There was no love lost on her part for the Japanese, something that became apparent as she told us stories about how she listened to the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and, later, President Roosevelt’s address to the nation, where he declared that a state of war existed between the US and Japan. Always the proper lady, my grandmother dressed up for the visit, wearing a modest dress and her hair up, befitting the occasion.

To get on the ferry to the memorial, you had to purchase tickets. As we stood in line, my grandmother noticed bus loads of Japanese tourists arriving at the ferry wharf, tickets in hand, waiting to board the ferry to the memorial. It was 1972, some 31 years since the Japanese attacked the sleeping US fleet, and given the age of many of the tourists, men and women in their fifties and sixties, they had not only been alive when the attack took place but had been active participants in the society that carried it out.

My grandmother was a well-bred lady of a certain stature in society, not prone to making scenes or using foul language, but when she saw the Japanese tourists, she turned to my father, and in as an indignant voice as can be imagined, asked loudly, “Why are there so many goddamned Japs here?”

The Americans in line with us looked at my grandmother with sympathy; they could tell by her age, and where we were standing, that her emotional outburst was coming from a place of authenticity. All eyes were turned to the Japanese, many of whom had heard her words, and were now looking down at the ground in shame and embarrassment. It was not a comfortable moment for anyone present.

My father explained that many of the Japanese had come as an act of atonement, to show respect for the dead. He outlined that times had changed, and that we were now friends with the Japanese, and that we didn’t use words like ‘Japs’ when referring to them. My grandmother listened in silence, seething. But she retained her composure, and we completed the tour without further incident. Afterwards, as we drove home, she wept quietly. “They have no right,” she said, referring to the Japanese. “That place is not meant for them.”

Her pain was real, and there was no amount of time that could pass which would cure the wounds she felt in her heart. She died later that year, and her memories of the war passed with her.

Every December 7, I pause and reflect on the meaning of that day. I re-read President Roosevelt’s address and pay special attention to the notion that it was “a date which will live in infamy.”

Infamy. According to Merriam-Webster, the word means an “evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal.”

My grandmother certainly believed that was the case, and having experienced Pearl Harbor through her eyes, so did I. I could, and have, forgiven the Japanese for what they did that day.

But I will never forget.

Sadly, I can’t say the same thing about my fellow Americans. When was the last time we, as a nation, formally marked Pearl Harbor Day? Yes, every year the US military holds a solemn ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, attended by local politicians and senior military officers. But does Poughkeepsie, New York pause and reflect? Mobile, Alabama? Bangor, Maine? Kalamazoo, Michigan?

No. As a nation, we have no collective memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the underlying infamy attached to those who perpetrated it. History has no meaning if you don’t ingrain it into your very being. For me, the memory of my grandmother’s indignation at the very site of the infamy in question left an indelible imprint. But unless one has a similar moment of clarity, history is but a collection of stories from a bygone era, merely the experience of strangers, and is thus seldom learned, never cherished, and easily forgotten.

In June 1988, I was part of a five-person advanced party of US personnel sent to Votkinsk, a Russian city located some 750 miles east of Moscow, in the foothills of the Soviet Union, where the Soviets maintained a factory that produced ballistic missiles. I was working for the On-Site Inspection Agency, whose job it was to implement the provisions of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, one of which was to build a monitoring facility outside the gates of this missile factory. We arrived in Votkinsk on June 18. The first team of US inspectors was due to arrive on July 1. We had a little less than two weeks to get things ready for their arrival.

The Soviets put us up in an upscale dacha (country house) on the outskirts of the town that had been built to host former Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov during his frequent visits to Votkinsk. Now it played host to five Americans.

A few days after arriving, I woke and went for a morning run, accompanied by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official whose job it was to make sure I didn’t “get lost.” After breakfast, the Soviets drove us to the factory, which we were seeing for the first time. I walked the perimeter of the factory, initiating what was to become a routine for all future inspection teams (the inspection provisions called for a perimeter patrol to be conducted twice a day.) We then toured the rail sheds outside the factory gates, took measurements of places where equipment was scheduled to be installed, and returned to the dacha for lunch. On the television, I saw images of the Second World War being broadcast. I quickly realized what day it was and turned to my Soviet hosts.

“This is the anniversary of the German attack on the Soviet Union,” I said. “Are there any ceremonies taking place to mark the occasion? If so, I’d like to attend, and pay my respect.”

My hosts were appreciative of my grasp of history but told me that there were no official ceremonies. “The veterans and their families might visit a memorial,” they said. “But the official holiday for the Great Patriotic War is on May 9, Victory Day.”

That night, as we walked along the lakefront in Votkinsk, my hosts took me to a downtown memorial. There were bundles of flowers laid out in front. As we watched, families would pass by and lay more flowers.

“In America,” I told my hosts, “we have an official holiday to mark our entry into the Second World War: ‘Pearl Harbor Day’. I’m surprised you don’t have something similar here to commemorate the German attack.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs official thought about what I said for a moment, before responding: “Perhaps we chose to memorialize the victory. Those were dark days. Maybe it is best to remember them in private.”

On June 22, 2022, I watched the Russian president lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and at the Hero Cities memorials, in commemoration of the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. Eighty-one years ago, on that date, the forces of Nazi Germany began their attack on the Soviet Union, beginning nearly four years of conflict that impacted virtually every family in the country. At least 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives.

As I watched the solemn ceremony, I was struck by the contrast between the conversation I had in Votkinsk some 34 years prior and the events of the present. What had changed?

In short, history. Or at least how a nation collectively opted to remember its history.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought with it a fundamental change in the way Russians viewed their history. The Soviet Union was largely denigrated, and that which had been celebrated in the name of Soviet glory was left to languish amid an atmosphere of frustration and recrimination. Russia, as a nation, floundered, its identity as confused as its future.

To create a foundation of historical fact that could be used to redefine the character of modern Russia, its first president, Boris Yeltsin, in 1996, instituted June 22 as a national memory day, the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. In keeping with the solemnity of the occasion the law mandated that there be no entertainment programs broadcast on TV or radio.

Over the years, June 22 has grown to resonate with many of the Russian people. History, it seems, is learned. More than fifty years after the end of the Great Patriotic War, the people of Russia were compelled to re-learn an aspect of their collective history that had been neglected by earlier generations. The May 9 celebration remained, for sure – everyone wants to celebrate a victory, especially one as grand as the occasion of the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Days of remembrance and sorrow, however, are more difficult to embrace, especially by those who have not been directly touched by the events occasioned. While it is true that every family in Russia was affected in some way, shape, or form by the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, as the grandparents who fought in the war die off, and the children of those veterans themselves age and deal with the realities of the present, the grandchildren are left contemplating a nation whose identity could very well be dominated by the challenges of the future.

By making June 22 a holiday of remembrance and sorrow, where no extraneous entertainment will be brooked lest the memories of what happened be somehow sullied, Russia is manufacturing history. This manufacturing is not being done by fabrication or distortion, but by simply taking the building blocks of history that had been allowed to collapse from past neglect and shaping them into something that the present generation could identify with, absorb, and make a real and present part of their identity as citizens of Russia.

In the United States, we have allowed the memory of what happened to be erased from our collective history and confined it to the myriad instances of family lore, until it dwindled to mean nothing for the nation as a whole.

Not so in Russia. The Russians put a halt to the whisper game, instead ensuring that everyone was told the same thing at the same time about a horrible event in their collective past that should never be forgotten, lest such events happen again.

There is a reason why the issue of “denazification” in Ukraine resonates with Russians more so than anywhere else in the world.

Russia has, through its actions, made sure that June 22 will not go the way of December 7.

I think my grandmother would have approved.

Source:rt.com

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Rabat - The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on in-person dealings have boosted the adoption of mobile and digital financial services in the world, particularly in Africa, according to the World Bank’s latest Findex report.

More than 80 million adults in India, as well as 100 million in China, made their first digitalpayments over the course of the pandemic, with 20% of adults in developing countries, or 720 million people, having made a digital payment in 2021.

An increase was noted in sub-Saharan Africa in the adoption rates for banking institutions, with more people opening accounts.

Additionally, the use of mobile money accounts, whether exclusively or in addition to regular bank accounts, saw a sharp increase as the percentage of adults using mobile accounts to save money surpassed that of regular accounts in 2021.

The increase is attributed to social distancing and quarantine policies adopted during COVID-19, which have made accessing physical institutions less convenient, and accelerated the development of mobile banking services.

Additionally, the increasing rates at which Africa is becoming connected to the internet, and the rise of a younger generation that is more technologically literate and more interested in using mobile banking helped the process along.

Despite the good signs, however, various reports point that the digital transition throughout the continent is still lagging behind.

A 2022 World Bank report pointed out that despite more than 60% of Morocco’s population using the internet, only 17% aged more than 15 use digital payment, with a mere 1.6% buying products and services online.

The phenomenon extends to the rest of the region, with the lack of digital payments mostly attributed to a distrust that most of the population continues to have towards the technologies.

Meanwhile, possibly counting on a higher rate of adoption of digital services in the future as younger generations become a bigger purchasing demographic, Morocco’s government and businesses continue working on digitizing their services.

Source: Morocco World News

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Rabat - The UN Secretary-General Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, will arrive today in Morocco, as a part of his regional tour to meet with involved parties in the Sahara dispute. 

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said yesterday in a press briefing that de Mistura will hold talks with Moroccan officials to find solutions for the four-decade long Sahara dispute.

De Mistura also intends to visit the Western Sahara region as part of his trip, added Dujarric, highlighting that “during this phase of the engagement, the Personal Envoy intends to remain guided by the clear precedents set by his predecessors.”

In January 2022, the UN official carried out his first tour to the region, during which he met a Moroccan delegation in Rabat to discuss the Western Sahara dispute.

With this new phase of visits, de Mistura “looks forward to deepening the consultations he initiated at that time with all parties concerned on the perspectives to constructively advance the political process on Western Sahara,” added Dujarric.

The parties involved in the dispute are Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Polisario Front.In an attempt to advance the political process on the Sahara question, the UN Security Council has called for a shared commitment from the four parties to find a mutually acceptable solution to the decades-old territorial dispute.

But the much-touted UN-led political process has witnessed stagnation in recent months due to Algeria and Polisaro’s rejection of the UN Security Council’s latest resolution that called for a lasting, politically negotiated solution to the regional dispute.

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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Washington should pull out of NATO instead of sending billions of taxpayer dollars to Ukraine and risking a nuclear war, according to a Republican congresswoman who has been highly critical of Washington’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the case in a series of tweets on Thursday.

Ukraine is the “new Iraq wrapped up with a pretty little NATO bow, with a nuclear present inside,” she wrote.

“The American people do not want war with Russia, but NATO & our own foolish leaders are dragging us into one. We should pull out of NATO.”

She described the provision of military aid to Ukraine, which she voted against in Congress, as a “proxy war” against Russia that Americans have no appetite for.

“Grinding up Ukraine to fight with Russia is disgusting, they could have been an ally,” she tweeted.

Marjorie Taylor Greene also listed a host of problems that she sees as more pressing for the American people, from soaring inflation to fentanyl overdoses and rampant crime. The only people vying for a conflict with Russia are “those who make money off of it,” she claimed.

“NGOs, defense contracts of all kinds, grants, business deals, even humanitarian aid, political consultants, & more,” she wrote. “War is an industry. A deadly profitable industry.”

Warmongers in Washington seeking war with Russia “should suit up and go fight it”themselves, she suggested. “Send your kids and leave ours alone. Pay for it yourself.”
Source: rt.com

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Covid-19 did not come out of some natural reservoir but rather "out of US lab biotechnology" in an accident, world-renowned economist and author Jeffrey Sachs has claimed, speaking at a conference hosted by the GATE Center think tank in Spain in mid-June.

While introducing this “provocative statement,” Sachs suggested that he was in the loop, as he chairs the Covid-19 commission at prestigious medical journal The Lancet.

So it’s a blunder, in my view, of biotech, not an accident of a natural spillover,” he reiterated.

The academic noted that while “we don’t know for sure” if this is the case, there is “enough evidence” pointing to this, which “should be looked into.” Sachs lamented that this version is, however, “not being investigated, not in the United States, not anywhere.

Back in May, Sachs, along with Columbia University professor of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics Neil Harrison, penned an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggesting Covid-19 had originated in a laboratory. In the paper, the two academics called for greater transparency on the part of US federal agencies and universities, arguing that a lot of pertinent evidence was not disclosed.

Virus databases, biological samples, viral sequences, email communications, and laboratory notebooks could all help shed light on the pandemic origin, according to Sachs and Harrison. However, none of these materials had been subjected to “independent, transparent, and scientific scrutiny,” they argued.

As an indicator that Covid 19 had originated from a laboratory, the authors brought up the fact that a sequence of eight amino acids on a critical part of the virus’s spike protein is similar to an amino acid sequence found in cells that line human airways.

In fact, Sachs is not the first one to suggest that the deadly virus had not occurred naturally.

While there is no conclusive evidence that would trace Covid-19’s origin beyond a reasonable doubt, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded in February 2021 that it had most likely been transmitted from an animal, possibly a bat, to humans.

The highly contagious virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. It then quickly spread globally, with several waves claiming millions of lives by May 2022, according to the WHO.
Source: rt.com

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Rabat - Morocco’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced on Wednesday that Eid Al Adha will take place on Sunday, July 10.

The ministry carried out the sighting of the crescent moon for Eid Al Adha 2022 today, announcing that the first  day of  Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic calendar, will fall on July 1.

The ministry reported that the crescent moon sighting for Dhu al-Hijjah was not clear, and religious experts were unable to observe it with a naked eye.

Therefore, Eid Al Adha will take place on July 10.

Eid Al Adha marks the tenth day of Dhu'l Al Hijjah.

Unlike Morocco, several countries will celebrate Eid Al Adha on July 9.

Saudi Arabia announced today that the first day of Dhu al-Hijjah will be on Thursday, June 30.

The International Astronomy Center announced earlier this week that most of Islamic countries will also celebrate Eid Al Adha on Saturday, July 9.

Known as sacrifice feast in English, Eid Al Adha is one of the holiest events in Islam.

During the feast, Muslims sacrifice a sheep, lamb, goat, or a cow. The Muslim event commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail at the behest of God.

Customs and traditions of celebrating the Eid differ from one region to another. But Muslims around the world share one common ritual: the morning Eid prayers.

Wearing traditional clothing, such as Djellaba, Moroccans flock to mosques to perform Salat El Eid [the Eid prayers] before joining back their families to kick off celebrations.

Celebrations start following the slaughtering of the livestock. Families gather around tables full of delicious food and dishes.

One of the most special dishes served during the first day of Eid in Morocco is lamb liver wrapped in caul fat, also known as boulfaf.

Source: moroccoworldnews 

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The US government is set to purchase more than $3 billion in additional coronavirus vaccines from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which said the sale could include a new drug designed to protect against the Omicron variant, currently under review by federal regulators. 

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced the latest vaccine deal on Wednesday afternoon, stating they would ship 105 million doses, worth a total of $3.2 billion, with contract options for another 195 million shots should the government agree to exercise them.

“This agreement will provide additional doses for US residents and help cope with the next Covid-19 wave,” said BioNTech executive Sean Marett, adding that “Pending regulatory authorization, it will also include an Omicron-adapted vaccine, which we believe is important to address the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.”

The firms said they provided the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with “pivotal data”on the “safety” and “tolerability” of two Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates last weekend, pointing to “positive” results in lab studies. Even before receiving approval, they have already started manufacturing doses of both candidates in order to “begin deliveries rapidly upon authorization.”

According to data gathered by UNICEF, the jab developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is among the most widely used immunizations against the coronavirus and has been approved by some 111 nations. The vaccine is one of the most lucrative medicinal products in modern history, helping to double Pfizer’s yearly revenue between 2020 and 2021.
Source:rt.com

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Britain will provide “sophisticated air defense systems,” drones, electronic warfare equipment and “thousands of pieces of vital kit” worth 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, London announced on Wednesday.

The deliveries will represent the “first step” to allow Ukrainian forces to go beyond their“valiant defense” efforts and move towards “mounting offensive operations” to regain territory lost to Russia, the UK authorities claimed.

“UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine's defenses against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying in the statement.

The new supplies will bring London’s overall military aid to Kiev to 2.3 billion pounds ($2.8 billion). The UK, which has been one of the strongest backers of Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive four months ago, has also provided 1.5 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) to the country in economic and humanitarian assistance.

During the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, the US-led military alliance declared Russia a “direct threat” to Western security.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the gathering via video link, demanding more help from member states, including modern weapon systems to “break the Russian artillery advantage.” 

He claimed the fighting is costing Kiev around $5 billion every month, and that – unlike Russia – Ukraine does not have oil and gas revenue to cover the deficit.

Moscow has repeatedly warned against supplies of weapons to Ukraine by the US, UK and other allied nations, saying it will only prolong the fighting, while increasing the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the West.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” 

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

Source: rt.com

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The US plans to announce as soon as this week that it has purchased “an advanced medium-to-long range surface-to-air missile defense system” for Ukraine, a number of news agencies reported on Sunday and Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Associated Press quoted a source as saying that the weapon in question is the Norwegian-developed NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested the NASAMS to be delivered to his country when he addressed the Norwegian parliament in late March.

It was said that Washington would also supply Kiev with additional artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars.

The news comes as the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) –which comprises of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – are meeting to coordinate further aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia.

The US – along with other NATO members – has been increasingly providing heavy weapons to Ukraine, including various missile systems, combat drones, and armored vehicles, since Russia launched its military operation in the country in late February.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden unveiled a further $700 million military aid package to Ukraine, which includes HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, and Mi-17 helicopters.

Moscow previously accused the West of “flooding” Ukraine with weapons and warned that any foreign weaponry on Ukrainian soil will be treated as legitimate targets.
Source: rt.com

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Rabat - Morocco’s Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) will host, on June 28 and 29, the Pan-African Hybrid RSIF Conference, focusing on the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) program.

The fund, which is the flagship program of the Partnership for Applied Skills in Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PASET), focuses on training researchers and professionals to contribute to Africa’s development goals.

With a focus on food security, climate change, and energy, the fund hopes to tackle the continent’s most pressing issues through a combination of pan-African and international cooperation and strengthening higher education.

The fund has provided over 250 PhD scholarships to date, with research grants to 15 African universities, from contributions from nine African countries, the Korean Government, European Union, and the World Bank.

The conference to be held at UM6P will be themed “African-led science, technology and innovation for contributing to the SDGs and global development,” following up on the pre-conference held virtually in November 2021.

In addition to the RSIF and UM6P, the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) will also be participating in the organization of the event.

Bringing together members from PASET and RSIF, the conference will aim to showcase the RSIF model to relevant stakeholders, as well as share lessons on how to improve doctoral training and research across  Africa.

There will also be a focus on using digital technologies to achieve the continent’s goals, as well as the impact of the climate crisis on achieving said goals.

The discussion is more relevant than ever, as Africa finds itself facing new challenges as it tries to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent months in particular, African nations have seen their food security crises exacerbated as the prices of grains and oil steadily rise amid  the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global economy.

Energy independence has become another issue, with fuel prices rising steadily. Amid dire prospects for the global energy industry,  Morocco hopes to contribute to solving its -- and eventually the region’s -- energy crisis through various projects such as its renewable energy ambitions, and the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline.

The event will also strengthen UM6P’s as a leader in Pan-African development. The university’s President Hicham El Habti previously told MWN that they view Africa “as a land of huge opportunities,” with a vision that the continent can help solve many of the world’s pressing issues.

Source: Morocco World News.

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Rabat - Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, said on Friday that cooperation between Morocco and the UN in the field of counterterrorism is “strong and fruitful.”

The statement came during a celebration of the first anniversary of the Rabat-based United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa.

During the celebration, Bourita and Vladimir Voronkov, the Under Secretary General of the UN’s Counter Terrorism Office (UNOCT) , agreed to strengthen the “strategic dialogue” between Morocco and the UNOCT over the coming years to fight terrorist threats.

Bourita additionally stressed that the Rabat-based counterrorisms training center is the first of its kind in Africa, having already delivered tangible results in the security field during its first year.

Speaking on cooperation between the UNOCT and Morocco, he also added that it focuses not only on theoretical improvements to counter terrorism, but also on enacting tangible measures and projects to produce results.

The minister went on to mention Morocco’s participation in various regional conferences and the partnerships it forged with the UN and other African countries to protect its security interests.

Rabat’s UN Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa relies on a pool of domestic and international experts to provide world-class training to African entities to combat threats.

On Thursday, the UNOCT organized in the city of Marrakech a high-level meeting where experts and officials from 23 countries discussed counterterrorism mechanisms.

The meeting dealt with security threats in the Sahel as well as the growing presence of ISIS in the continent, and symbolized Morocco’s commitment to regional cooperation to combat these threats.

Marrakech also notably hosted the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS earlier this year.

All these developments come as Morocco continues to cement its global standing as a reliable and assertive player in the security field. 

The latest “Global Terrorism Index” from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has notably ranked the North African countryamong the world’s safest nations.

“Morocco’s active role in fighting terrorism suggests the country’s understanding of the threat; the interconnectedness of its counterterrorism methods,” the IEP’s report detailed.

Source: Morocco World News.