November 23, 2021 – 11:20 – the world
The Biden administration rejected the proposal of Jack Reed, a pro-Polisario senator. The democrat wanted to make continued military cooperation with Morocco conditional on the kingdom’s acceptance of a peace plan for the Moroccan Sahara.
A member of the Defense Committee, Senator Reid, had called for the use of defense funds to support the participation of the Moroccan armed forces in bilateral or multilateral exercises to be conditioned on the steps taken by Morocco to reach a final desert peace agreement.
Read also: Joe Biden’s powerful message to King Mohammed VI
The White House said in a document, without mentioning Morocco, that this request is likely to undermine US foreign policy on military cooperation. According to the Biden administration, this proposal could prevent the Department of Defense from properly performing its role as a provider of foreign assistance, “in accordance with the foreign policy priorities of the United States.” The proposal will be amended during the review of the 2022 budget law.
Read also: Morocco and the United States develop a roadmap for military cooperation
Morocco has been a privileged partner of the United States since June 2004. The two countries signed a 10-year military cooperation agreement in Rabat in October 2020. US President Joe Biden, in his message to King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of Morocco’s independence, stressed the excellent quality of relations between the two countries. “Our 235-year partnership, which began with the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and Morocco in 1786, has repeatedly reaffirmed the importance and value of mutual respect and cooperation,” he said at the time.
Read also: Joe Biden welcomes recognition of the Moroccan Sahara
Joe Biden also expressed satisfaction “with the prospect of deepening our shared commitments, investing in mutual prosperity, and building on this enduring partnership.” He added that the common interest in peace, security and stability in North Africa “provides a solid basis for further cooperation and engagement”.
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