Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House Subcommittee on the MENA region has said the US sides with Morocco in counterterrorism.
The US allies itself with Morocco in its fight against terrorism and in maintaining security, Ros-Lehtinen said, on Friday, October 26, in Rabat, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
Ros-Lehtinen was speaking to the press after meeting Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
Ros-Lehtinen indicated that Morocco is a strong country with which the US shares “the same problems.”
Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican representative, said she is “convinced that Morocco will protect its citizens against ISIS and other extremist groups.”
The US attaches great importance to the long-standing friendship and bilateral cooperation in all areas, including trade and security, she added.
The US congresswoman also said she “was very happy” with the upcoming launch of the new direct flights between Casablanca and Miami.
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) announced on October 17 that its new direct flights between Casablanca and Miami will operate Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
RAM will launch the non-stop flight on April 3, 2019. All flights will use the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner with 274 seats, including 18 in business class.
Ros-Lehtinen talked about the financial support the US Congress has given Morocco, saying it is an “investment in the future, because Morocco is the future of the Middle East and Africa” and “a leader for moderation and stability.”
Ros-Lehtinen also spoke about Iran’s objectives, noting that Iran “is trying to exploit the instability in the region to strengthen its control.” Morocco cut diplomatic ties with Iran on May 1.
She acknowledged that Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize Iran’s threat to world peace and stability well before the US.
Ros-Lehtinen’s visit to Morocco comes as part of an official visit by a delegation of US congresswomen to the MENA region to enhance security cooperation with US allies.
On October 19, former US Congressman Christopher Shays, also hailed Morocco’s achievement in counterterrorism and security.
“As [the Trump] administration continues to reconsider each individual relationship, Morocco remains a model ally that holds the keys to America’s future success on the African continent,” Shays wrote.
Shays described Morocco as a “crucial security partner” and a “leader in religious tolerance” for the MENA region.
With the continued terrorism threat in North Africa, Shays recognized Morocco’s successful contribution to global counterterrorism, as well as its effectiveness in providing security against terrorism within its borders.