FAR determined to promote the spirit of cooperation of the 5+5 Initiative

The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) remain determined to participate in the promotion of the spirit of cooperation of the 5+5 Initiative and to support the projects proposed within the framework of its action plans, said Thursday in Rabat, Lieutenant General Belkhir El Farouk, Inspector General of the FAR and Commander of the Southern Zone, In a speech at the opening of the 14th Meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of the member countries of the 5+5 Defense Initiative, the Lieutenant General indicated that the FAR, convinced of the need for this collective momentum, are committed to consolidating its relevance as an instrument of multilateral cooperation and to consolidating its operating mechanisms. .

On the High Instructions of the King, Supreme Chief and Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the 14th meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Armies of the member countries of the “5+5 Defense” Initiative was held, under the presidency of the Kingdom of Morocco with the participation of the Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of eight member countries of the Initiative, namely France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal and Spain.

While reaffirming Morocco’s strong attachment to the spirit and founding principles of this Initiative, Lieutenant General Belkhir El Farouk expressed the Kingdom’s sincere commitment to contribute to peace and security efforts. in the Western Mediterranean, noting that in a constantly changing international context, characterized by the resurgence of crises, this initiative is called upon to face up to multiple challenges weighing on the region.

These challenges are linked in particular to terrorism, illegal immigration, cybercrime, trafficking of all kinds, pandemics and instability in the Sahel, he said, adding that they are further amplified by the impact of climate change and extra-regional conflicts.

“This calls for the synergy of efforts to sustain the 5+5 Defense Initiative, through the consolidation of cooperation links and the federation of efforts to achieve the expected objectives”, he pointed out.

The Inspector General of the FAR also pointed out that thanks to the determination of all its member countries, the 5+5 Defense Initiative has been able to gradually evolve and assert itself more and more as a forum for cooperation aimed at strengthening understanding mutual, through the promotion of practical activities in areas of common interest.

In this regard, he indicated that within the framework of this year’s activities, the Moroccan presidency commended the efforts of all member countries for the successful implementation of the activities included in the 2022 action plan as well as for their contributions to the project. of the 2023 Action Plan.

These activities, he said, relate mainly to the conduct of the various scheduled exercises, the execution of training and research work carried out by the “5+5 Defense” college and the Euro-Maghrebin Center for Research and Studies. strategies and the implementation of the Initiative’s projects, such as the “Cyber ​​5+5” Forum and the 5+5 Training Center on humanitarian demining.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Lieutenant General Belkhir El Farouk welcomed the fruitful debates that marked this event, indicating that this meeting was an opportunity to foster dialogue on the matters of common interest, in a spirit of respect, mutual trust and shared responsibility.

The recommendations made during this meeting will be submitted to the meeting of Defense Ministers, which will take place in Rabat on December 16, 2022, specified the Inspector General of the FAR who took this opportunity to wish full success to the Portuguese Republic which will ensure the presidency of the Initiative for the year 2023.

Created in 2004, the “5+5 Defense Initiative” is a forum for consultation and multilateral understanding between the two shores of the Western Mediterranean.

Bringing together five States from the southern shore of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and five States from the northern shore (France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain), this forum constitutes a preferential framework promoting mutual understanding. and exchanges on common security issues in the 5+5 space. Its presidency rotates.

Cooperation within the Initiative takes place according to three principles, namely: consensus, voluntarism and pragmatism.

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