Moroccan-American Military Maneuvers Under Spain’s Watch

The Moroccan-American military cooperation has become a growing concern among the political forces in Spain, as the kingdom's northern neighbors express fears of a shift in the balance of powers in the region in favor of Morocco

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The Moroccan-American military cooperation has become a growing concern among the political forces in Spain, as the kingdom’s northern neighbors express fears of a shift in the balance of powers in the region in favor of Morocco.


According to what was reported by the Spanish newspaper “El Diario”, an advisor in the Spanish “Sí Podemos Canarias” party expressed his rejection of the military maneuvers carried out by Morocco and the US near the Canary Islands, indicating that these maneuvers coincide with the tensest moments in Moroccan-Spanish relations. This includes the migration crisis and other files, as well as Morocco’s extension of territorial waters near the Canary Islands.

David Carballo, advisor to the Tenerife Council, considered that the Moroccan-American military exercises, which are being conducted 50 miles north of the Canary Islands, aim to pressure Spain and push it to “surrender” to Morocco’s demands.

The spokesman called for the issuance of a clear statement against these maneuvers, calling also for an end to cooperation with Morocco, noting that his party strongly opposes Morocco’s attempt to take advantage of the geographical location to implement military exercises through which it shows its naval power and thus obtaining geopolitical benefits.

It is worth noting that the great convergence in relations between the US and Morocco, which culminated last January with the signing of a number of agreements, following the American recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Sahara, has begun to reflect positively on a military rapprochement, especially with the increasing interest of Washington in the Sahel region and North Africa. .

In early March, US ships and aircraft participated in the “Lightning Handshake 2021” exercise, which, according to the Washington Embassy in Rabat, “is part of the strong and enduring security partnership between the United States of America and Morocco.”

The US guided missile destroyer USS Porter and the US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower participate in the maneuvers, while the Kingdom is participating with the Moroccan Royal Navy frigate, Tarik Ben Ziyad.

On the second of last October, Morocco and the United States signed an agreement to strengthen military cooperation for a period of 10 years, on the sidelines of an official visit to Rabat, conducted by the former US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper.

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