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Loudiyi takes part in 19th meeting of 5+5 initiative defense ministers

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In execution of High Royal Instructions, the Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi, took part, on Wednesday in Lisbon, in the 19th meeting of the Ministers of Defense of the member countries of the 5+5 Initiative, which is being held this year under the presidency of Portugal.

The meeting, attended by ten ministers from Western Mediterranean countries, provided an opportunity to take stock of cooperation activities carried out in 2023, and to draw up an action plan for 2024.

In a speech, Loudiyi stressed that the meeting “represents an opportunity to pursue dialogue, consultation and the sharing of experience and expertise on our common interests in security and defense, more particularly in areas linked to maritime surveillance and air safety, as well as the contribution of armed forces to the management of emergency situations and major disasters.”

He commended Portugal’s efforts to revise the Declaration of Intent of the Ministers of Defense of the member countries of the 5+5 Defense initiative, signed in Paris on December 21, 2004, noting that the signing of this declaration will enable member countries to raise the level of cooperation in light of the current threats and challenges facing the region.

He added that the year 2023 has seen a series of extreme events in several regions of the world, including the western Mediterranean, which was hit by storm Daniel, which caused extensive damage in the Libyan city of Derna.

“In this respect, we express our sincere condolences and compassion to the State of Libya and our deep sympathy to the brotherly Libyan people,” he said.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to the member countries of the Initiative who expressed their solidarity with the Kingdom of Morocco following the powerful earthquake that struck the Al Haouz region,” he added.

Turning to the Initiative’s action report, he expressed his satisfaction at the satisfactory results achieved, with some 50 activities scheduled for 2023, thanks to the commitment and contribution of all member countries and the excellent work of the Steering Committee, under the Portuguese presidency.

In the same vein, Loudiyi praised the work carried out by the Euro-Maghreb Center for Research and Strategic Studies (CEMRES) as part of its research on the theme of security in the Western Mediterranean, pointing out that “this study has enabled us to identify the multitude of challenges facing our region, and the potential to be mobilized by member countries to strengthen resilience to disasters and climate change, and reduce the risks associated with pandemic phenomena.”

On another level, he noted, the Kingdom of Morocco supports the “Cyber Forum” and “Virtual Regional Center for Maritime Traffic Control” projects initiated by Italy, the “Center for Coordination and Operational Planning” initiated by France, and the “Training Center for Humanitarian Demining” initiated by Libya.

With regard to migration issues and the fight against terrorism and organized crime, Loudiyi reaffirmed that the Kingdom of Morocco remains “ready for all forms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation aimed at combating these scourges.”

He called for a “global approach based on shared responsibility, to deal firmly and effectively with these risks,” stressing the importance of deploying partnership strategies and planning realistic co-development programs involving countries on both shores of the Western Mediterranean.

In this context, “the Kingdom of Morocco has consistently demonstrated, under the Leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, its full commitment and attachment to the various initiatives aimed at maintaining peace and security in the world,” he said, noting that “our synergy remains an essential asset in facing the various challenges facing our area.”

Loudiyi also pointed out that “the draft action plan for 2024 is rich and diversified thanks to the contributions of member countries, and covers 74 activities reflecting the determination and commitment of member countries to maintain the dynamism and vitality of our initiative.”

“Morocco will provide all the support needed to carry out the activities scheduled for 2024,” he said.

The rotating presidency of the “5+5 Defense” Initiative for 2024 will be held by Spain.

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