Morocco/US Partnership: Five Questions for Major General Michael J. Turley of the Utah National Guard
Major General Michael J. Turley of the Utah National Guard granted an interview to M24, the continuous news TV channel of the Moroccan News Agency (MAP) in which he highlights the fruitful and mutually beneficial relations of friendship and cooperation between Morocco and the United States as well as the major role played by Morocco in favor of peace and security in the Maghreb as well as in the entire African continent. 1- Morocco and the US are celebrating two centuries of friendship. What’s your take on this long-standing history of friendship and the prospects of cooperation between the two allies? I believe that the relationship is strong as it has ever been and we look forward to continuing this relationship into the future, certainly beneficial for both the United States as well as Morocco. 2- We are witnessing today at the National Library an exhibition which will then move to Casablanca and later on to the State Department. How will events like this contribute to advancing the centuries-old ties between Morocco and the US? Events like this are important, it shows that shared values between the United States and Morocco and also shows that this continued relationship, this friendship, this affection between Morocco and the United States has strengthened through the two centuries. 3- The National Guard of Utah is bound to the Moroccan Royal Armed forces by a partnership since 2003. How has this partnership been evolving since then? And what can be done to further consolidate it? The relationship between the Utah National Guard and the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces has been extraordinary, it is simply been the example in the continent of Africa. Certainly we started slow but prior to the Covid pandemic we were doing approximately 35 engagements a year, so an extraordinary amount of interaction certainly what that relationship has developed into is a mutually beneficial relationship, we learn a great deal from the Moroccans, we hope that we bring a certain amount to the table to help the Moroccan Royal Forces and we certainly see Morocco and the Royal Armed Forces as an exporter of peace and security in the Maghreb as well as across the continent of Africa. 4- Cooperation between Morocco and the US in security fields has always been exemplary. Morocco is a key player in preserving security, peace and stability in a very strategic area and in Africa at large. What is your assessment of Morocco’s role and what prospects for Moroccan-US cooperation in this regard? I think that Morocco serves the role of a leader both within the Maghreb as well as across the African continent, I see Morocco as an exporter of peace and security not just within the Maghreb not just on the continent of Africa but within the region. 5- The African Lion exercise is a strong example of this cooperation in Africa and all along the Atlantic area. What can you tell us about the dimensions of this cooperation to achieve common growth in Africa, bearing in mind the geostrategic interests in this region? The African Lion is the largest annual exercise here on the continent of Africa and it has a significant importance to the United States, I believe it has a significant importance to Morocco as well because it again allows the Moroccans to exercise their leadership in the Maghreb but across the continent, it brings other players from across the continent and it allows them to learn from the Moroccans, again in the end we see Morocco as an exporter of peace and security across the entire region and so it’s a very beneficial exercise.