Rabat – Army General Stephen T. Townsend, the commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) recently met with Moroccan government and military officials to discuss ways of further deepening the evidently strong defense collaboration between the US and its North African allies.During his stay in Rabat on Thursday, August 22, General Townsend met with Abdeltif Loudyi, Delegate Minister in charge of administering national defense-related questions.In their conversation, the two officials touched upon the “diversified” and “dynamic” security connections between Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and the Pentagon. They each praised the successful and “strategic” US-Morocco cooperation on national defense and counterterrorism, expressing confidence about what they mostly presented as encouraging prospects for the bilateral links between the two allies.General Townsend, who visited Rabat “heading an important delegation,” according to Moroccan news outlet MAP, reiterated the US’ satisfaction at Morocco’s reliability as a partner as well as the North African country’s security and stability-linked efforts in the region.The newspaper added that the AFRICOM commander’s visit and subsequent meetings with various Moroccan officials were carried out in the “friendship and privileged alliance spirit” that have been the distinct markers of the US-Morocco defense cooperation.General Townsend and Minister Loudyi both called for bolstering the “dense and multi-faceted” military cooperation.They also spoke about organizing more mixed training sessions between Moroccan and US troops to enhance interoperability and develop a closer cooperation in terms of intelligence sharing.The meeting comes weeks after Washington, through both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, highlighted Morocco’s “strategic importance” in the US’ MENA ambitions. Both officials reiterated America’s commitment to maintaining close ties with its North African ally.Typically seen as security and stability bastion in its region, Morocco has gained a reputation over the years for its counterterrorism and de-radicalization success story.Counterterrorism is also one of the US’ most pressing concerns of both the US domestic and foreign policies, and General Townsend’s visit is seen as part of the US’ bid to further support Morocco’s efforts on that front.“We still have a lot to accomplish together, notably the continuation of our fight against extremism in all its forms, the promotion of tolerance and religious understanding, the promotion of common priorities in Africa…” President Trump said recently of the strong, diversified US-Morocco ties. read more