US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, on Saturday welcomed in Laayoune the excellent relations between his country and Morocco, noting that these relations "have never been so strong as now".
"This is a key moment in US-Morocco relations. Never have these relations been so strong as now," the US official underlined at the launching ceremony of +the TIBU Laayoune Center by US Embassy Morocco+.
Schenker referred in this regard to the historic announcement made last month by the United States to recognize the full sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the entire Moroccan Sahara region and to open a consulate in Dakhla.
The US official noted that the year 2021 marks two hundred years since the United States opened its first diplomatic mission in Morocco.
"Tangier houses the oldest US diplomatic representation in the world," he recalled.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs stressed that the close partnership with the "TIBU Maroc" NGO, which works to promote education of young people, their social inclusion and their human development through basketball, is part of the commitment of the United States in favor of Moroccan youth and the deep friendship between the two countries.
In this regard, he highlighted the support of his country to the Ministry of National Education over more than a decade in reforming the education system, with an investment amounting to 250 million dollars, through a series of programs including the promotion of reading among primary school students, teacher training, in addition to English language learning programs.
On the economic side, Shenker recalled that Morocco is the only African country to have a free trade agreement with the United States.
"Last week we celebrated 15 years since our agreement officially entered into force," he said.
The US official said that more than 150 American companies are currently operating in the Kingdom, helping to create jobs for the Moroccan economy.
He voiced the hope that these relations would develop further in the future and "continue to strengthen here in Laayoune", saying he was "delighted to facilitate the expansion of TIBU in the southern provinces".
He also commended the support of the local authorities and the supervisory ministry for this project which "will have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people" in the region.