Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper’s Meeting With Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bourita

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita today. Secretary Esper and Foreign Minister Bourita shared their mutual concerns about regional instability caused by violent extremist groups and coercive foreign activity. They discussed the important work of the Transitional Government in Mali to restore constitutional rule and prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the situation.  Even as Africa contends with these threats, the Secretary noted the strong leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, highlighting the progress and strength of the U.S.- Moroccan partnership as part of larger effort to counter instability on the continent.  They discussed the importance of the new Roadmap for Defense Cooperation between the United States and Morocco that will guide cooperation in a range of priority areas.

Secretary Esper noted his full support for Moroccan force modernization initiatives and how these changes would help strengthen the ability for the U.S. and Morocco to more effectively face regional threats together.

Secretary Esper thanked Morocco, a Major Non-NATO Ally, for its leadership role in advancing stability and security across Africa, a top priority for the United States.