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U.S. determined to boost ties with Morocco

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U.S. determined to boost ties with Morocco

Post by shammy on Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:48 am

19th February,2008

The American government is determined to strengthen its privileged partnership ties with Morocco, notably in security issues and counter terrorism, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, Theresa Whelan said on Monday.

"The U.S. has excellent cooperation relations with Morocco, one of America's oldest allies," Ms. Whelan told MAP on the sidelines of a conference in London on the AFRICOM: US-Africa security.

On military cooperation, the U.S. official recalled that Morocco and the United States cooperate in maritime security and counter-terrorism in North and Western Africa.

She also expressed concern over terrorism threat in the region as Al-Qaida intensified its activities.

"We engage in consultations with the region’s countries on the way to address this threat,” Ms. Whelan underlined, recalling the creation, by the U.S. administration, of the trans-Saharan Partnership to Fight against Terrorism – that is meant to counter the Salafist group of Preaching and combat (GSPC).

“The U.S. has already consulted with nine countries of the region on means to widen this mechanism to ensure a more efficient response against terrorist organizations including Al Qaida,” she added.

President George W. Bush announced Africom's creation a year ago with the aims to promote development, health, education, democracy and economic growth, and security.

According to Ms. Whelan, the persistence of the Sahara conflict is a source of concern to the U.S. which hopes that the parties will, as quickly as possible, reach a solution to this issue.

“We are doing our best, mainly at the diplomatic level, to provide advice to the region’s countries with whom we have strong cooperation ties.”


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