NATO Military Committee Chairman calls for stronger ties between NATO and its Mediterranean partners
During his visit to the Kingdom of Morocco (29 - 30 January, 2016), General Petr Pavel held bilateral talks in Rabat with Mr. Abdellatif Loudiyi, Minister Delegate to the Head of Government for the Administration of National Defence, General Bouchaid Arroub, Chief of Defence and the Chiefs of Staff of the Land, Naval and Air Forces.
General Pavel praised the long-standing cooperation between NATO and Morocco in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue (Med Dialogue). He took the opportunity to discuss NATO’s continued commitment to working with Morocco, through the Med Dialogue partnership, in addressing the security challenges the nation and North African region are facing. General Pavel added that “we will continue to enhance our work with Morocco to make the most of the opportunities offered by their partnership with NATO, including the Defence Capacity Building Initiative and the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme”.
The Chairman also highlighted Morocco’s participation in NATO Operations and exercises. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces have greatly contributed to NATO operations and have shown an active interest in current NATO naval operations, such as Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean. NATO promotes military-to-military cooperation to improve the ability of partner military forces to operate with NATO forces. This interoperability is practised regularly in NATO exercises and partners are often invited to participate or observe. “Trident Juncture 2015 was our biggest exercises in two decades. More than 30 nations and around 36,000 troops participated. Morocco was one of the Partner nations that was an observer at the exercise”, underlined General Pavel.
Morocco joined the NATO Med Dialogue in 1994. Today, the partnership programme counts seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.