Morocco and the United States recently held a meeting in Tangier to address the challenges posed by weapons of mass destruction. During the summit, "the first of its kind in the region", the two countries underlined their partnership and commitment to counter the threats posed by such weapons.
Morocco and the United States also encouraged all Mediterranean and African countries to support the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and to participate in future related events. Since its establishment in 2003, 107 states have joined the PSI, committing themselves to take concise and affective action against weapons of mass destruction.
As a joint statement notes, during the meeting "civilian and military leaders from ten governments reviewed trends in WMD proliferation," with an emphasis on "international and national legal authorities related to WMD interdiction and the problems associated with the detention and inspection of shipments carrying suspected WMD, their delivery systems and related materials". The summit also featured several expert lectures, a simulation exercise and a visit to the port of Tangier Med to observe a cargo inspection.
The director of the United Nations and International Organisations of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Redouane Houssaini, underlined the relevance of Tangier - the host city - pointing to its geographical position, as it connects "the Mediterranean basin and the African Atlantic coast".
He also recalled that Morocco "remains committed to the strategic objectives of strengthening national capacities in Africa and regional and sub-regional cooperation". Houssaini called for the reinforcement of non-proliferation efforts, especially in the Mediterranean area, where he cited the challenges posed by security threats in the Sahel.
For his part, the director of the Office of Counterproliferation Initiatives, Thomas W. Zarzecki, praised Morocco's efforts, noting that the kingdom has come to occupy a leading position in Africa in this area. The senior State Department official also added that Washington and Rabat share common goals, such as expanding PSI. Zarzecki also indicated that he was willing to continue to share expertise with Moroccan security officials.
This summit is part of numerous bilateral meetings between Morocco and the United States to counter international threats and encourage regional stability. Last November, for example, senior Moroccan military officials visited Washington to meet with their US counterparts and strengthen bilateral security cooperation, highlighting the threat posed by Iran in North Africa.
Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra