US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, left, is received by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, right, in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

RABAT, Morocco — The United States and Morocco on Friday signed an accord that aims to strengthen military cooperation and the North African kingdom’s military readiness over the next decade.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed the 10-year agreement during a two-day visit to Morocco, his last stop on a tour of three North African nations, which began this week in Tunisia, where a military accord also was signed.

He also visited Algeria, the first U.S. defense secretary to meet with leaders there since 2006. He held a meeting with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and the army chief, Gen. Saïd Chengriha. No deals were known to be signed there, but the U.S. defense secretary reportedly discussed expanding security cooperation and security issues in the Sahel region just south of Algeria. The U.S. counts Algeria as a major ally in the fight against terrorism.

Morocco is a major non-NATO ally of the United States.

Esper met with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita upon his arrival Friday. Full details of his plans weren’t immediately disclosed.

The military agreement “serves as a road map for defense cooperation and aims to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and support shared security goals,” according to a statement issued by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry.

Morocco: US and Morocco sign 10-year military cooperation deal

The agreement centers on “consolidating common security objectives, especially improving the degree of military readiness,” a statement from the General Command of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces said.

Esper also met with the deputy minister under the prime minister, charged with national defense, Abdeltif Loudiyi.

The two officials expressed their “satisfaction with the durability, distinction, continuity and dynamism of the bilateral cooperation,” the statement from the General Command said.

Esper also met with the Inspector General of the Morocco Royal Armed Forces, Gen. Abdelfettah Louarak.

The military deal is expected to further bolster cooperation between the two countries. Washington is Morocco’s largest supplier of arms. Morocco hosts the annual U.S. military exercise called “African Lion” — canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By CTO



World



Iran

No more UN embargo on Iran, but no arms sales either

A Com News Spotlight - Iran - Mid-East - Mike Pompeo - sanctions - Secretary of State - Top News - United Nations

No more UN embargo on Iran, but no arms sales either

A Com News Spotlight - Iran - Mid-East - Mike Pompeo - sanctions - Secretary of State - Top News - United Nations

UN arms embargoes on Iran expire despite US objections

A Com News Spotlight - Iran - Mid-East - Top News - United Nations

Iraqi militias say they have halted anti-U.S. attacks

A Com News Spotlight - Iran - Iraq - Kataib Hezbollah - Mid-East - Top News - United States

US sanctions Iran’s court system over execution of wrestler, other alleged abuses

Iran - Law - United States

Saudi King Salman assails Iran in United Nations debut

Arabian Peninsula - General Assembly - Iran - King Salman - News - Saudi Arabia - United Nations


Arabian Peninsula

Saudi-led coalition destroys explosive drone fired by Houthis

A Com News Spotlight - Arabian Peninsula - Houthi - Radical Islam - Saudi Arabia - Yemen

Saudi-led coalition destroys explosive drone fired by Houthis

A Com News Spotlight - Arabian Peninsula - Houthi - Radical Islam - Saudi Arabia - Yemen

Exclusive: Qatar makes formal request for F-35 jets - sources

A Com News Spotlight - Arabian Peninsula - Israel - Mid-East - Qatar - Saudi Arabia - Southwest Asia - United States

Saudi King Salman assails Iran in United Nations debut

Arabian Peninsula - General Assembly - Iran - King Salman - News - Saudi Arabia - United Nations

Saudi king’s rare address to UN showcases monarch in charge

Arabian Peninsula - General Assembly - King Salman - News - Saudi Arabia - United Nations

Saudi Arabia reportedly has enough uranium to start nuclear fuel production

Arabian Peninsula - China - News - Saudi Arabia


Africa

Warring Libya rivals sign truce but tough political talks ahead

A Com News Spotlight - Africa - Libya - Top News

Warring Libya rivals sign truce but tough political talks ahead

A Com News Spotlight - Africa - Libya - Top News

Trump delivers remarks after announcing Sudan will normalize relations with Israel

A Com News Spotlight - Abdel-Fattah Burhan - Africa - Benjamin Netanyahu - Israel - Mid-East - Sudan - Top News

U.S. urges restraint after shooting of protesters in Nigeria

A Com News Spotlight - Africa - Lagos - Mike Pompeo - Nigeria - Secretary of State - Top News

Nigeria's president tells security to respect law as gunfire heard in Lagos after protest crackdown

Abuja - Africa - Muhammadu Buhari - Nigeria

UN Hopes Meeting Will Raise $1 Billion for Key Sahel Nations

A Com News Spotlight - Africa - Sahel - United Nations