22-02-2024 03:47 AM Jerusalem Timing

US’s Kerry in Morocco for Security Talks

US’s Kerry in Morocco for Security Talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Thursday in Rabat, a regional ally of Washington which nevertheless ruffled Moroccan feathers last year by calling for greater scrutiny of human rights in Western Sahara

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Thursday in Rabat, a regional ally of Washington which nevertheless ruffled Moroccan feathers last year by calling for greater scrutiny of human rights in Western Sahara.
  
Kerry was due to meet Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, before holding talks on Friday with Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar and other top officials focused notably on security and commercial cooperation.
  
Before arriving in Rabat, Kerry visited Morocco's neighbour and regional arch-rival Algeria, with the two countries pledging to work together to combat ‘terrorism’ in the Sahel region.
  
Kerry's visit takes place less than a month before the UN Security Council's annual vote on renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in the disputed Western Sahara.
  
Washington sought last year to task the force with human rights monitoring, an unexpected move fiercely opposed by Morocco, which controls most of the territory. The proposal was eventually dropped after intense lobbying by the Moroccans, who also cancelled annual joint military exercises with US Africa Command (AFRICOM).