US Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper led the Presidential Delegation in Kuwait City to meet with His Highness Amir Nawaf Al-Ahmad al-Sabah Sunday (photo), the U.S. Department of Defense announced.
On behalf of President Trump and the United States of America, the Secretary offered condolences to HH Amir Nawaf on the passing of HH the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, whose wise leadership we mourn today as we, and the region, work to build on his legacy for the future.
The Secretary reflected with HH Amir Nawaf on the powerful example set by HH the late Amir. Truly the Sheikh of diplomats, HH Amir Sheikh Sabah set Kuwait upon a prosperous path to sustained peace and safety in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council, with whom he was a tireless mediator capable of bridging insurmountable divides in pursuit regional stability and security.
An extraordinary architect of Kuwait’s humanitarian contributions in the world, HH Amir Sheikh Sabah also personified the shared value that Kuwait and the United States place on our longstanding defense relationship.
The Secretary had an opportunity to discuss with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser al-Mohammed Al-Sabah security cooperation and commitment to the advancement and modernization of Kuwait’s forces, a priority of HH the late Amir Sabah.
The Secretary thanked HH the Amir and Minister Ahmed for their continued support of one of the largest U.S. military presences in the world.
On October 3, 2020, Dr. Mark T. Esper met with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah while in Qatar.
Secretary Esper expressed his gratitude for the Qatari Emir’s hospitality in hosting 8,000 U.S. service members and DoD civilians in Qatar. The two discussed the importance of the strong defense partnership and bolstering interoperability between the U.S. and Qatar.
They also recognized the solemn circumstances of Secretary Esper’s visit to the region and the unfortunate passing of the late Amir of the State of Kuwait. Secretary Esper and Dr. Khalid also expressed their interest in strengthening broader regional defense cooperation to ensure collective security and a unified response to threats.
On October 2, Dr. Mark T. Esper met in Rabat with Abdelfatah Louarak, Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, to discuss the strategic partnership between the two countries. Secretary Esper acknowledged Morocco’s continued leadership role in promoting peace and stability throughout Africa, especially through the participation of the Moroccan Armed Forces in UN peacekeeping missions and the provision of lifesaving humanitarian support to conflict zones from Africa to Beirut and beyond.
The Secretary also recognized Morocco’s hosting of regular international military training and educational programs that include officers and soldiers from across Africa, enhancing their training and professional development and imparting skills and education developed in partnership with the United States.
The two sides discussed the importance of the new Roadmap for Defense Cooperation between the United States and Morocco. They noted the roadmap prioritizes cooperation in a range of areas including enhancing Moroccan military capacity, deepening interoperability, boosting force readiness, and supporting Morocco’s role in maintaining regional security.
Dr. Mark T. Esper also met in Rabat with Abdellatif Loudiyi, Morocco’s Minister-Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of the National Defense Administration. He also met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
On October 1, the U.S. Secretary of Defense met with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the Presidential Residence in Algiers. Esper expressed his appreciation for the longstanding relationship between the United States and Algeria, voiced support for expanding the military relationship, and highlighted Algeria’s steady leadership in regional security. The two leaders discussed security throughout North Africa and the Sahel and ways to advance our strategic military and diplomatic partnership.
Esper expressed his appreciation for President Tebboune’s willingness to further security cooperation. The Secretary reiterated that the United States will continue to work hand-in-hand with Algeria to strengthen military ties and promote regional security and stability.
On September 30, the U.S. Secretary of Defense met with Tunisian President Kais Saied at Carthage Palace in Tunisia. Secretary Esper expressed his appreciation for the longstanding friendship between the United States and Tunisia, dating back to the countries’ first agreement of friendship and trade in 1799.
The two leaders discussed shared concerns about the threat terrorism and malign actors pose to regional stability and the sovereignty of African countries. Secretary Esper and President Saied also exchanged ideas on how Tunisia and the United States can strengthen their security relationship in service to the values held by the American and Tunisian people.
Secretary Esper thanked Tunisia, a key U.S. security partner and a Major Non-NATO Ally, for its active contribution to regional security and encouraged its continued efforts. He emphasized the United States’ commitment to strengthening its partnership with Tunisia to further progress made in countering violent extremism and defending international norms.