AL ARABIYA NEWS
The interior ministers of Morocco, France, Spain and Portugal agree to strengthen their cooperation to better deal with security threats in the Sahel region. (Reuters)
Morocco has no plans to send troops to Mali although the North African kingdom supports France’s intervention against Islamist militants there, the Moroccan interior minister said on Friday (January 25).
“It is a cooperation that has always existed on a bilateral and multilateral levels in the field of intelligence and information to face the problems in the region. We exchange the information we have to make the whole region more secure,” Mohand Laenser told a press conference about the possibility of sending troops, after a meeting with interior ministers from France, Spain and Portugal.
Morocco is a staunch ally of France, the former colonial power, and has allowed French jets which have bombed Islamists camps and logistics bases in Azawad to fly over its territory.
Spain’s interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz also expressed his country’s solidarity with France’s actions.
But he declined to comment on whether Spain would send soldiers to Mali.
The four countries signed an agreement to expand police cooperation in issues such
as terrorism, illegal immigration and drug trafficking, and will improve information exchange, particularly in the investigation of financial assets.
“We are witnessing the history that is being built between France and this part of the world and that is based on respect and mutual confidence,” French interior minister
Manuel Valls told reporters.
Morocco’s moderate and radical islamist groups are opposed to the French campaign in Mali.
The Attawhid wal Islah movement, which is behind the Islamist Justice and Development Party that heads the government, has openly opposed the campaign.