Rabat – Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Tuesday, October 22, in Washington as part of the fourth session of the US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.
Pompeo and Bourita co-chaired the dialogue meeting.
In a joint statement issued following the meeting, Pompeo expressed full satisfaction with the “leadership” of King Mohammed VI in promoting a “bold and far-reaching reforms over the last two decades.”
Pompeo also appreciated the “precious support” Morocco provides for the causes of peace, security, and development.
Both officials said they are “particularly satisfied with the convening of the first Working Group of the Strategic Dialogue on Africa, with the aim of strengthening cooperation on our common interests in Africa,” according to the statement.
During the session, the two sides “exchanged views on bilateral issues and welcomed the establishment of Strategic Dialogue Working Groups during the year that have identified opportunities for cooperation on political, economic and security issues in Morocco and in the region “.
Morocco and the US also reaffirmed their commitment to a “closer economic partnership” and “the development of innovative ways to take greater advantage of the Free Trade Agreement” between the two countries.
Rabat and Washington signed the FTA on June 15, 2004. The agreement has been effective since January 1, 2006.
According to the Office of the US Trade Representatives, the trade agreement is a “comprehensive agreement that supports the significant economic and political reforms that are underway in Morocco and provides for improved commercial opportunities for U.S. exports to Morocco by reducing and eliminating trade barriers.”
US investment is already strong in Morocco with more than 120 US companies.
The 2019 Investment Climate report from the US Department of State said in July that since the agreement came into effect, bilateral trade between Morocco and the US increased by “more than 250%.”
Trade activities, according to the report, made the US Morocco’s fourth largest trading partner.
In addition to the FTA agreement, the two officials recalled that their attachment to the long-standing relations between the two countries date back to the treaty of peace and friendship of 1787.
The dialogue meeting comes after several meetings between US and Moroccan officials.
The latest visit was from a US delegation that arrived in Morocco earlier this month to discuss ways to boost diplomatic and economic collaboration between Rabat and Washington.
Democratic party congresswoman Karen Bass led the US delegation of American representatives to Morocco.
Bass told the press on October 9, after a meeting with Bourita, that the US officials were “very impressed by the noteworthy progress made in Morocco in recent years, particularly in terms of development.”
The US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue was first launched September 13, 2012. Senior U.S. and Moroccan officials meet regularly to discuss issues in four main areas: politics, economy, security, and educational and cultural affairs.