WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark E. Ferguson met with Gen. Abdelaziz Bennani, Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces of Morocco, during an office call at the Pentagon, Dec. 12.
During the call, Adm. Ferguson thanked Gen. Bennani for his country's long-standing relationship with the United States. Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as an independent country when the two countries signed a treaty of peace and friendship in 1786. Since then, the U.S. and Morocco have sought to maintain close relations that support regional maritime security.
"As a longstanding strategic partner, we appreciate the military cooperation between our two countries," Adm. Ferguson said. "We look forward to working with our Moroccan counterparts as we work to ensure regional stability."
Adm. Ferguson also thanked Gen. Bennani for his country's strong leadership during several regional military exercises designed to increase interoperability with regional navies. During annual exercises, such as "Saharan Express" and "Phoenix Express", U.S. and Moroccan forces worked together with military forces from Europe, South America, North Africa, NATO, and the U.S. to forge strong maritime security relationships.