US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker hailed Morocco’s continuous support for United Nations efforts to restore security and stability in Libya.
Washington is looking forward, in the coming weeks, to a positive outcome from the UN-led intra-Libyan dialogue, which aims to create a new transitional government and chart the path to national elections.
"We strongly support the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF) as the means towards an inclusive, negotiated political solution to the conflict in Libya," Schenker said following his meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat on Monday.
Schenker said that they had a chance to talk about how, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, they could make the already strong US-Morocco strategic partnership even stronger.
He stated: “We appreciate the King’s continuous and valuable support on issues of common interest such as peace in the Middle East, and stability, security and development across the region and the African continent.”
“Morocco is the only country in Africa with which we have a Free Trade Agreement, and we and our companies see it as a gateway to the continent,” he continued.
“Over 150 American companies operate here, creating jobs for the local economy. Next year will mark the 15th anniversary of the FTA taking effect and increasing the value of our trade by many multiples,” added Schenker.
“Morocco is also a close partner with the United States on a range of security issues. It participates in more than 100 military engagements with us yearly, including African Lion. Secretary of Defense Esper was just here and signed a ten-year Roadmap for Defense cooperation, a symbol of our long-term and strategic cooperation,” he stressed.
“Before arriving in Morocco over the weekend, I was in Beirut, where Morocco demonstrated its generosity by setting up a field hospital that has helped over 50,000 Lebanese in the aftermath of the devastating explosions that took place there in August,” he remarked.
“Next year, we will celebrate 200 years of friendship between Morocco and the United States, when we mark the bicentennial of the American Legation in Tangier, the oldest US diplomatic property in the world,” the US official stated.