King Mohammed VI Reaffirms Morocco’s Constant Desire to Boost Ties With US
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