Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Morocco to provide military assistance to UAE in fight against terrorism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar (center) speaks at a press conference in Rabat on 29/10/2014. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Mustafa Habis)

Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar (center) speaks at a press conference in Rabat on 29/10/2014. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Mustafa Habis)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Morocco is set to provide the United Arab Emirates with military assistance in the fight against terror and as part of broader regional security and military cooperation with the Gulf, a high-level Moroccan official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday.

“The Moroccan initiative is part of a comprehensive proactive strategy against the recurrent global threats that are [also] threatening Morocco,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The news of Moroccan support for the small Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country was subsequently confirmed by a report issued by the UAE’s state news agency WAM.

“In line with the directives of King Mohammed VI, the Kingdom of Morocco will provide active support to the UAE in its fight against terrorism and its efforts to maintain regional and international peace and stability,” WAM reported, in news attributed to a Moroccan Foreign Ministry announcement.

The Moroccan initiative “supports and complements the other measures taken on Moroccan territory to preserve the security and tranquility of Moroccan citizens in the face of the threat of international terrorism,” the statement added.

The high-level Moroccan official, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that Rabat is seeking greater and security and military cooperation with the UAE to complement a new anti-terror plan launched in the North African kingdom this week.

Morocco’s new “Hadar” (Vigilance) anti-terror strategy will see army, gendarmerie, police, and auxiliary forces cooperate more closely to deal quickly with any emerging security threats in sensitive locations, particularly at the country’s airports.

“The dispatch of military units to the UAE is not a separate initiative from Morocco’s comprehensive [anti-terror] strategy,” the Moroccan official said.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said: “Morocco has been targeted by terrorist organizations. Our domestic vigilance plan and our solidarity-based action towards a brotherly and friendly country like the UAE are part of the Kingdom’s active contribution to the fight against terrorist as its sources and hotbeds.”

Mezouar said that Rabat’s latest move to provide military assistance to the UAE aims to “reinforce” long-term security and military cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, adding that Morocco has always had particularly good close relations with the UAE. He said that Moroccan-GCC ties were strengthened following the signing of strategic partnership agreements between Rabat and several GCC states in 2011.

The Moroccan foreign minister clarified that the UAE had not requested this security and military assistance but that Rabat had offered it as part of “consultations” with the Gulf state and that any Moroccan military or security assets dispatched to the Gulf country would be under the UAE’s command.

He added that a “coordination process” is currently underway between Rabat and several other GCC states and that “Morocco is ready to shoulders its responsibility and provide necessary support to brotherly and friendly states.”

Additional reporting by Latifa Al-Arsoni from Rabat.