Washington, DC (STL.News) – The US Department of State released the following statement:
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita met today at the State Department and reviewed the close and productive partnership between the United States and Morocco. They discussed areas for future U.S.-Moroccan cooperation within the framework of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.
Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Bourita emphasized their commitment to the long-standing relationship between the United States and Morocco that dates back to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1787.
Secretary Pompeo highlighted King Mohammed VI’s leadership in advancing a bold and far-reaching reform agenda over the past two decades. He expressed appreciation for His Majesty’s continuous and valuable support on issues of common interest such as peace in the Middle East, Africa’s stability and development, as well as regional security.
The Secretary and the Minister of Foreign Affairs exchanged views on bilateral issues and welcomed the convening of Strategic Dialogue Working Groups during the course of the year that identified opportunities to work together on political, economic, and security issues in Morocco and the region.
Secretary Pompeo and Minister Bourita expressed particular satisfaction for the convening of the first Africa Working Group of the Strategic Dialogue in order to strengthen cooperation on our common interests in Africa. They welcomed the holding of the “African Lion,” “Lightning Handshake” and “Epic Guardian” joint military exercises and discussed ways to further deepen the excellent military cooperation at the strategic policy level.
The Minister and the Secretary agreed to sustain cooperation to advance shared interests in regional stability and to defeat terrorist groups including AQIM and ISIS. The Secretary thanked Morocco, a stable security exporting partner, for its ongoing leadership of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and for its sustaining role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. They discussed joint efforts to combat terrorism in Africa, and in particular to secure the enduring defeat of ISIS, by enhancing the capacity of security services in the region, including through a joint platform for security cooperation.
The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed the danger posed by Iran and its proxies and discussed cooperative efforts to combat attempts to spread Iranian influence in the region including in North West Africa. Both sides reiterated their commitment to a closer economic partnership and to developing innovative ways to maximize the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. They also emphasized Morocco’s potential to serve as a platform and gateway for an increasing number of American firms doing business in Africa and welcomed Morocco’s commitment to supporting growth and development across the continent.
The Secretary expressed his appreciation for Morocco hosting the October 3-4 First Regional Conference on Cultural Heritage Protection for Religious Communities in support of the Potomac Declaration.