The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, received on July 28, 2021, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. Joey Hood.
Speaking at a press conference held at the end of his talks with MFA Bourita, Mr. Hood highlighted the long-standing and deep relations uniting Morocco and the United States, under the Leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.
Recalling that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States. Mr. Hood also praised Morocco’s ongoing and valuable support in matters of common interest, such as the Middle East peace process, stability, security and development in the region and throughout the African continent.
« Morocco is a close partner of the United States on a number of security issues » noted Mr. Hood, adding that the Kingdom and the United States signed, last year, a ten-year roadmap to strengthen cooperation in defense, welcoming in this regard « a symbol of our long-standing strategic cooperation ».
Referring to bilateral economic relations, Mr. Hood noted that Morocco is the only African country linked by a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States and that more than 150 American companies are active in the Kingdom, considering the latter as a gateway to the African continent.
The American diplomat also highlighted the American-Moroccan cooperation in the fight against the Covid-19, welcoming the largely successful national vaccination campaign.
Regarding the Sahara issue, Mr. Hood reiterated the unchanged position of the United States of America recognizing the sovereignty of Morocco over the Sahara. «There is no change in US policy on the Sahara compared with the previous administration » stressed the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
Mr. Hood noted that the United States strongly supports the efforts to appoint, as soon as possible, a Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara.