Morocco is one of the United States’ strong allies in North Africa, and a target for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization operating in the Sahara and Sahel, whose stated goals include overthrowing regional governments deemed apostate, including that of Morocco.
That is why, on August 7, the United States and Morocco signed a Framework for Trilateral Cooperation on Training for Civilian Security Services. The goal of the agreement is to strengthen regional counterterrorism capabilities by learning from each other in the areas of crisis management, border security, and terrorism investigations, and in sharing that knowledge with other nations in the region.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is particularly timely in that it comes at a time when the U.S. is working to ensure that its counterterrorism strategy effectively counters the emerging global threat,” said Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Tina Kaidanow.
“Morocco’s law enforcement community has demonstrated a strong willingness to build and sustain Counterterrorism capacity both within Morocco’s own borders and in the wider region. In particular, with Morocco’s advanced capacities in the areas of crisis management, investigations, and border security, the Kingdom is now in a position to share this set of skills and expertise with its friends and allies to build long term stability in the region.”
In return, the United States offers help in developing a corps of Moroccan counterterrorism training experts, and to help these experts train civilian security and counterterrorism forces in neighboring countries within the greater Maghreb and Sahel regions, an arrangement for trilateral cooperation in the region.
“The United States is grateful for the opportunity to work once again alongside and in support of Morocco’s fight against terrorism,” said Ambassador Kaidanow. “We are sure the fruits of this newest form of collaboration will be profound and immediate.”