Rabat – US Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale has arrived in Morocco for a working visit.
The US official had his preliminary meeting with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita today, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP). The official’s working visit will continue until April 10.
The news agency added that Bourita and Hale discussed how to strengthen the strategic dialogue between both countries.
The Western Sahara conflict will be at the heart of Hale’s meetings, a source told Moroccan news outlet Le 360.
The Moroccan state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press has not posted any update on Hale’s visit to Morocco.
Hale took part in a meeting between UN Secretary-General Guterres and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in October 2018 to discuss the conflict over the region.
Prior to the meeting, Morocco’s Ambassador to the US Lalla Joumala also met with Hale in Washington, D.C., to discuss the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINURSO, before its renewal on October 31.
In addition to the conflict, Hale is expected to discuss Moroccan-US bilateral ties as part of the strategic dialogue between the two countries.
The US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue will take place in Washington later this year, Pompeo and Bourita agreed in September 2018.
The US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue was first launched September 13, 2012. During the meeting, Moroccan and US senior officials discuss regional and international issues, including the economy, politics, security, and cultural affairs.
Morocco’s security partnership is one of its strongest cooperations with the US. The US and Morocco cooperate heavily on counter-terrorism. From March 16 to April 7, Morocco’s southern region hosted US senior army officials, who provided military training with the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces and military units from around the world.
The joint exercise, called African Lion, included a simulated raid against violent extremists.
The African Lion military exercise brought military units from countries such as Canada, Spain, Senegal, and Tunisia.