The Biden administration rejected the proposal of pro-Polisario Senator Jack Reed of the Democratic Party to make funding for military cooperation programs with Morocco conditional on its acceptance of a peace plan in Western Sahara. The White House underlined, in a document, that this request could negatively impact the commitments of the Department of Defense, in particular the policy of its cooperation at the international level.
The American administration explained, without naming the kingdom by name, that the proposal bearing the number 1209 and appearing in the list of amendments presented in the context of the examination of the 2022 budget bill, risks preventing the Department of Defense to properly fulfill the mission of “providing assistance to foreign parties in accordance with the priorities of foreign policy” of the United States.
Senator Reed, from the Democratic Party, member of the Defense Commission, had asked to “prohibit the use of funds from the Ministry of Defense to support the participation of the military forces of the Kingdom of Morocco in bilateral or multilateral exercises, unless the Secretary (LLyod Austin, editor’s note) specifies and certifies to the Defense Commission that the Kingdom of Morocco has taken measures to support a final peace agreement with Western Sahara ”.
As a reminder, since June 2004 Morocco has enjoyed the status of a major ally of the United States outside NATO. In addition to this privilege, the two countries signed, in October 2020 in Rabat, a ten-year military cooperation agreement.